Team play helps Wildcats to wins over Mary
Both Wayne State basketball teams came up on the winning end of the scoreboard against University of Mary on Friday, as the men earned an 85-63 win while the Wildcat women held on for a 75-68 win.
In the women’s game, Wayne State broke a 53-53 tie with a 15-1 run to start the fourth quarter, giving coach Chris Kielsmeier (400-112) his 400th career coaching win.
The game went back and forth for the first three quarters. Neither team led by more than three points in the first half, and Wayne State got a 3-pointer from Maggie Lowe and a Brittany Bongartz layup to take a 37-36 lead at the half.
Mary came out of the locker room and scored the first five points of the third period to take their biggest lead of the game at 41-37, but Paige Ballinger and Amanda Brainerd combined for five straight points to give Wayne State the lead again at 44-43.
The 16th and final tie of the game came at the end of the third period when Mary forged a 53-53 tie, but the Wildcats came out hot in the fourth quarter to take a 68-54 advantage midway through the final period. Mary closed to within six at 72-66 with 1:30 to go, but Kacie O’Connor hit a free throw and Maggie Schulte added two more to put the game out of reach.
Schulte paced the Wildcats with 19 points an Bongartz added 17. Bongartz and Erin Norling each grabbed seven rebounds, Schulte had six assists and Lowe and Schulte each had three steals.
With the win, the Wildcats improved to 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the NSIC.
In men’s action, Jordan Cornelius shot 8-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, to finish with a season-high 20 points and help the Wildcats improve to 7-3 overall and 3-1 in NSIC play.
Cornelius wasted no time getting the Wildcats going early on, scoring 10 of the team’s first 12 points in the first five minutes to help Wayne State to a 12-2 lead and take the lead for good.
Mary got within six midway through the first half, but a 10-0 run by the Wildcats gave them a 28-12 advantage. Mary was able to get the lead down to four late in the half, but Wayne State led 39-33 at the half and started the second half with a 10-2 run, capped by a Kendall Jacks jumper to make it 49-35 and the Marauders were in a double-digit deficit the rest of the way.
Jacks complimented Cornelius’ effort with 15 points and Vance Janssen also hit for double digits with 13 points. Brian Goodwin led the team with eight rebounds while Jacks added two. Jacks had six assists and Austin Esters recorded four.
Wayne State is back home Saturday for a doubleheader with Minot State. The women tip off at 4 p.m. with the men to follow at 6 p.m.