The Wayne State men’s basketball opened the 2019-20 season this past weekend at the Division II CCA Tip Off Classic in Orange, California. WSC went 0-3 on the weekend, facing non-conference opponents Ferris State, Concordia Irvine, and Texas-Permian Basin.
WSC was picked 10th overall and picked sixth in the South Division in the 2019 Preseason NSIC Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll. Sophomore Jordan Janssen was selected as the Wildcat Player to Watch in the NSIC this season.
“It was a tough weekend for us, but it was also a great learning experience for us all as well,” said sophomore Nick Ferrarini. “We played three extremely good teams and we know that we will bounce back from this weekend and still have a successful season.”
In the first game of the long weekend, Wayne State fell in the season opener to Ferris State Friday evening 100-78. Ferris State shot 56.5 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from the 3-point line.
Wayne State was lead by Janssen with 21 points in the contest, followed by sophomore Nate Mohr with 17 points and Ferrarini with 15 points to pace the ‘Cats.
Wayne State was out-rebounded in the contest 41-28 and shot 6 of 15 from 3-point range and was just 26 of 35 from the charity stripe.
In the second game of the Tip Off Classic, WSC battled #23 Concordia Irvine, falling 75-73 after a late rally by the Eagles in the second half.
Ferrarini helped pace the Wildcats in the game with a team and game high 23 points off of 10 for 19 shooting. Janssen contributed a double-double for Wayne State with 15 points and 14 rebounds while adding six assists in the contest.
“I think we just need to get more consistent as a team and used to playing with each other ,” Janssen said. “We still have a lot of talent on this team and we are capable of winning a lot of games the rest of the season.”
WSC held a double-digit lead in the beginning of the second half before the Eagles went on a 21-2 run to take a 62-55 edge over the Wildcats.
Wayne State out-rebounded the Eagles 44-35 with help from junior Ben Dentlinger with seven. The ‘Cats shot 44.1 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point land.
WSC closed off the Tip Off Classic Sunday evening with a loss to Texas Permian Basin 82-62. Janssen led the Wildcats in scoring on the game with 17 points followed by Dentlinger with 12 and Mohr with 11.
WSC lost the rebounding battle in the contest 41-38 and shot 48.5 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range. Both teams had 12 turnovers in the contest.
“We played three really good teams this weekend and we battled against them all three nights. This past weekend was a good test for us and will help us prepare for our upcoming games and conference play further down the road,” Janssen said.
Wayne State will be back in action Friday and Saturday at the GAC/NSIC Challenge in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The Wildcats will face non-conference opponents East Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma Baptist.