Wildcat men lose NSIC semifinal thriller in overtime

 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Wayne State men's basketball team saw their best season in two decades come to an end Monday night, dropping an 84-78 heartbreaker to Southwest Minnesota State Monday night in the Northern Sun Conference tournament at the Pentagon.

The Wildcats got off to a good start and led by as many as 10 points in the first half, riding the hot shooting of Trevin Joseph and Al'Tavius Jackson. Southwest Minnesota State countered with a late run, capping it with a Michael Lee 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Mustangs a 39-37 advantage.

Wayne State again came out and took the momentum in the early going, rebuilding a lead to as many as 11 points, but the Mustangs came back, thanks to Ryan Bruggeman, who scored 34 points and put the Mustangs in front late in the game.

Wayne State forced overtime when Jordan Janssen scored on the inside with time running out to make it 69-69. Southwest Minnesota State built a late lead and hit two key baseline 3-pointers down the stretch to put the game out of reach and advance to Tuesday's finals against Northern State, who beat Winona State 67-66 on a buzzer-beating shot.

The Wildcats, 21-10, had five players in double figures, led by Kendall Jacks' 16 points. Joseph finished with 14 points, Jordan Janssen had 12 points, Vance Janssen added 11 and Nick Ferrarini put in 10.

Jordan Janssen had a double-double with 12 repounds. Vance Janssen had four assists.

The Wildcats are still in contention for an NCAA tournament bid. The next regional rankings come out Wednesday, with the 64-team field to be announced on Sunday evening.

The Wayne Herald

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