The student news site of Wayne State College

The Wayne Stater

The student news site of Wayne State College

The Wayne Stater

The student news site of Wayne State College

The Wayne Stater

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Wildcats season concludes in NSIC Tournament

The Wayne State College Wildcat men’s basketball team saw their season come to an end on Wednesday, Feb. 28 after a 75-62 loss to the Augustana Vikings in the first round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament. 

The Wildcats entered as the 10th seed in the NSIC, while the Vikings were the 7th seed in the tournament. The first half began with hot shooting from beyond the three-point line. Seven different players knocked down three-point shots over the first seven and a half minutes. Alec Millender, Trey Deveaux, Sean Stokes, and JJ Ferrin hit threes for the Wildcats and Arhman Lewis, Jadan Graves and Isaac Fink hit long-range shots for the Vikings, giving WSC a 12-9 lead.  

The first non-three-point bucket came from Caden Hinker at the free throw line, going one for two, and then the Vikings started to heat up. After trading a couple of baskets back-and-forth, the Vikings got back-to-back buckets from Akoi Akoi to give Augustana a 20-16 lead. WSC continued to answer back, tying the game at 22 apiece with 6:07 to play in the first half. The rest of the first half was dominated by the Vikings, as they closed on a 16-6 run to lead 38-28 at the break. 

Half number two saw the Vikings stretch their lead even more, getting it out to 15 points with 16:03 to play. A couple of two-point jumpers, one each from McCullough and Harmon cut the lead to 11 and gave the Wildcats some momentum. That momentum was swiftly stolen away as the Vikings seemed to have an answer for every Wildcat bucket. With the score at 50-40 in favor of the Vikings, Augustana went on a 7-0 run to really open the game up. 

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The Wildcats did not back down, going on an 11-0 run to cut the Viking lead to six with 5:48 to play, and after trading baskets, got the lead down to five with 4:37 off a Harmon three-point shot. With Vikings holding on by a score of 61-56, Augustana opened the game back up with an 8-0 run and after trading more points, put the game away at the foul line, where they scored their last eight points to secure the 75-62 victory to move on to the quarterfinal round. 

The Wildcats were led by Deveaux with 18 points and seven rebounds to go along with a block and a steal each, and Millender, who had 14 points and four assists. As a team, WSC shot just 34.4% including 28.6% from three-point range. 

Augustana was led by a trio of double-digit scorers. Fink had 20, Graves had 14, and Lewis finished with 12. Akoi contributed 10 off the bench as well as snatching seven rebounds. Fink led the rebounding category as well with 8 and Caden Hinker finished with seven rebounds and a whopping four blocks.  

The rest of the NSIC tournament played out from March 2 to March 5, with the Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks taking home the conference title. 

The Wildcats end their season with a 16-14 record and a 9-14 record in NSIC play, including the conference tournament. 

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Nate Bope, Sports Writer
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