WSC men’s basketball win at SMSU for first time since 2000
Wayne State College nearly squandered a 14-point lead in the final 6:30 minutes, but held on for a 75-68 Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball win Saturday evening at Southwest Minnesota State, snapping a 19-game losing streak in Marshall to the Mustangs.
It was also just the second win in the last 16 overall meetings for Wayne State against SMSU. The last time WSC won in Marshall was February 12, 2000 when Brad Joens hit a desperation 3-pointer to give the ’Cats a 67-65 win over SMSU. With the win, WSC is now 11-3 on the season and 6-2 in the NSIC while SMSU drops to 8-6 and 3-5 in the league.
The two teams had three ties and one lead change early until WSC took the lead for good.
The game’s final tie was at 11-11 at the 14:17 mark, then WSC scored six straight and took a 17-11 lead on an Al’Tavius Jackson trey with 11:15 to play in the half.
Later in the half, WSC took their first double-digit lead at 24-14 on a layup from Jackson at the 8:18 mark.
The Wildcats pushed the lead to 13 at 35-22 on a dunk from Jackson with 5:27 to go in the half.
But the host Mustangs charged back and cut the deficit to six (40-34) at halftime.
Wayne State maintained the lead the rest of the game, but held off a late charge by the Mustangs to earn their first win in Marshall since Greg McDermott roamed the Wildcat sidelines.
WSC took another 13-point lead at 57-44 with 11:46 to play, but SMSU rallied and got within six at 59-53.
The ’Cats then scored eight straight points and took a 67-53 lead on a three-point play from Jordan Janssen with 7:33 left in the game.
Wayne State’s last basket of the game was a dunk by Jordan Janssen at the 6:33 mark, putting the ’Cats in front 71-57.
SMSU used an 11-1 run over the next 5:10 and got as close as four at 72-68 following a Ryan Bruggeman jumper with 1:23 remaining.
WSC then sealed the win late with Trevin Joseph going 3 for 4 at the line to preserve the 75-68 victory.
Kendall Jacks paced Wayne State with 15 points followed by Al’Tavius Jackson with a season-high 14 off the bench. Joseph and Jordan Janssen also hit double figures with 12 and 11 respectively.
Wayne State made 25 of 61 shots from the field for 41 percent, including 5 of 16 behind the arc. The Wildcats connected on 20 of 30 free throws (66.7%) in the win.
Bruggeman poured in a game-high 22 points to lead SMSU. Taylor Schafer and Michael Lee each scored 11.
SMSU shot 43.1 percent from the field on 28 of 65, going 6 for 22 from the 3-point line and 6 of 8 at the line.
After getting outrebounded Friday night at Sioux Falls 48-24, WSC bounced back with a great night on the glass out-rebounding the Mustangs 45-33 thanks to nine boards from Jacks and Jordan Janssen. Jacks also had five assists to lead WSC while Vance Janssen had three steals.