Wayne State men, women take care of Winona State
Wayne State’s women dominated Winona State with a suffocating defensive effort, while the Wildcat men rallied from a 12-point deficit to come away with a win over the Warriors in action Friday at Rice Auditorium.
In the men’s game, Wayne State rallied from a 48-36 deficit with just over 13 minutes remaining to pull out a 69-67 win and, with their 11th win of the season (11-10, 6-7 NSIC), bettered last year’s 10-win total.
The Wildcats started the game strong, taking an early 18-12 lead. With WSC still in front 20-15, Winona State held the Wildcats to just two baskets over the next 8:45 and turned a five point deficit into a seven point lead (34-27) before Wayne State’s Kendall Jacks closed the first half with an old-fashioned three point play to reduce the Warrior lead to 34-31 at halftime.
The Warriors built a 48-36 lead with 14:39 to play before Wayne State rallied, taking a 53-52 lead on a Jacks 3-pointer with 7:04 remaining.
With the score tied at 59-59, Winona State used a Connor Flack 3-pointer and a pair of Caleb Wagner free throws to take a 64-59 lead with 2:33 to play. Senior forward Jordan Cornelius then scored five straight points on a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer with 25 seconds to play giving WSC a 66-64 lead.
Jacks made two free throws with nine seconds left after getting fouled on a rebound to put the Wildcats ahead 68-64. Winona State’s Devin Whitelow drained a 3-pointer with three seconds left to cut the Wildcat lead to one at 68-67, but Jacks was fouled on the inbounds pass and made one of two free throws with two seconds to play to seal the win.
Junior guard Trevin Joseph finished the game with 19 points to lead Wayne State. Jacks also hit double figures with 15 points. Cornelius had a team-best 10 rebounds and Brian Goodwin grabbed eight. Cornelius had three blocks while Vance Janssen and Matt Thomas each had three assists.
In the women’s contest, Wayne State held Winona State to just 25 percent shooting while three players scored in double figures as the Wildcats rolled to a 74-37 win to improve to 15-6 overall and 9-4 in NSIC play.
The Wildcats dominated the game despite the team’s top two scorers, Maggie Schulte and Paige Ballinger, going scoreless in the first half while scoring a combined nine points. Wayne State made up for the lack of scoring from its seniors by knocking down 10 3-pointers while outscoring Winona State’s bench 33-4 in the win.
Winona State held a 10-9 lead in the first quarter until Wayne State went on a 8-0 run to end the quarter giving the Wildcats a 17-10 lead. The second quarter saw Wayne State use four 3-pointers, three from Andrea Larson and one from Evelyn Knox, to push the score to 37-21 heading into halftime.
The Wildcats held Winona State to single-digit scoring in both quarters of the second half, holding WSU to 3-of-12 shooting in the third quarter taking a 52-29 lead into the fourth quarter, with the Wildcats shooting 50 percent from the floor to cruise to the easy win.
Freshman Erin Norling led Wayne State in scoring with 17 points, going 8-of-12 from the field. Junior Andrea Larson and sophomore Evelyn Knox added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Schulte led Wayne State with five assists followed by freshman Halley Busse with three. Busse, senior Kacie O’Connor and Schulte were all credited with two steals while Ballinger recorded two blocks.
The Wildcats will be at home Saturday, hosting Upper Iowa at 4 and 6 p.m.