WAYNE – Following a Friday night sweep over Concordia-St. Paul, the Wayne State College Wildcat women’s and men’s basketball teams hosted another NSIC South Division opponent during their second match-up of the season.
Minnesota State-Mankato was at Rice Auditorium on the campus of Wayne State College Saturday.
From the women’s game, Wayne State College jumped out to a 31-25 first quarter lead while adding a 20-15 second quarter scoring margin. At the break, WSC held a 51-40 lead. The Wildcats again were able to outscore the Mavericks in the third quarter, 20-12 as both teams scored 21 points in the fourth. A final of 92-73 found Wayne State College recording their fourth straight win to sit 14-4 (8-2 NSIC) as Minnesota State-Mankato fell to 4-11 (2-7 NSIC).
Four Wildcats scored double figure numbers led by senior Paige Ballinger with 21 points and grabbing eight rebounds as junior Andrea Larson also had 21 points with seven boards. Senior Maggie Schulte tallied 13 points as freshman Haley Vesey poured in 11 points off the bench.
WSC shot 27-62 (43.5%) from the field, 8-22 (36.4%) from behind the arc and 30-35 (85.7%) from the foul line. The ‘Cats recorded 17 assists to 18 turnovers while adding seven blocked shots and 12 steals.
During the men’s contest, it was a back-and-forth battle as Wayne State saw it’s first half lead grow to as much as nine points as Minnesota State-Mankato also had a four-point lead. At the break, WSC held a 33-30 lead. In the second half again both teams would surge as there were 13 lead changes and the game was tied nine times.
The Wildcats cut into a seven-point deficit with about three minutes left in the game and had a chance to win the game, but were called for a foul on a rebound. The Mavericks hit one of two at the foul line and with under three seconds left the ‘Cats were unable to hit a shot and fell 75-74. WSC falls to 1-5 in games decided by five points or less and are now 10-8 (5-5 NSIC) while Minnesota State-Mankato improves to 12-3 (8-1 NSIC).
Five Wildcats produced double figure scoring after WSC had no one score more than nine points in the first meeting on December 1, 2017. Junior Vance Janssen paced the ‘Cats in scoring with 13 points, going 5-5 at the foul line. Senior Kendall Jacks followed with 11 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds as both senior Brian Goodwin and junior Trevin Joseph Jr. tallied 11 points. Sophomore Tony Bonner tacked on 10 points.
WSC shot 28-61 (45.9%) from the floor, 5-12 (41.7%) from behind the three-point line and 13-18 (72.2%) from the charity stripe. The ‘Cats recorded 13 assists to 12 turnovers while adding 10 steals and no blocked shots.
Wayne State College will hit the road for their only games away from Rice in the month of January to visit a pair of NSIC North Division opponents. WSC will face Northern State on Friday, January 12 and visit MSU Moorhead on Saturday, January 13.