Six ‘Cats score in double figures in 92-81 win over Minot State


Photo by Mason Schweizer

Adam Moon catches his defender daydreaming and drives to the hoop in Rice Auditorium during WSC’s Jan. 31 game against the University of Mary.

Shawn Smith, Staff Writer

Growing pains continue for the young Wildcat men’s squad as they have gone 1-3 over the past four games. This stretch of games did, however, start on a positive note with a win versus Minot State.
A sizzling 63 percent shooting by the Wildcats proved to be too much for the visiting Minot State Beavers.  Six ‘Cats players scored in double-digits as WSC defeated MISU 92-81 on Saturday, Jan. 30, at Rice Auditorium.
WSC leaped out to a 12-2 lead and held a 14-point advantage (28-14) with just under nine minutes to play before half-time.
Minot State went on a 12-5 scoring run and narrowed the lead to 39-36 as the first half ended.
The second half began as a dead heat as the teams tied for the lead nine times.
WSC broke the deadlock as Vance Janssen’s pair of free-throws and jump shot put the score at 74-70.
Jordan Cornelius sank consecutive jumpers to give the ‘Cats a ten-point lead (82-72) which helped seal the win for Wayne.
“Our guys did a great job of executing the game plan on both ends of the floor,” head coach Brian Dolan said. “Both teams competed hard in the second half, but our guys got stops when we needed them and made free throws down the stretch.”
With its first victory in five games, WSC improved to 5-16 overall and 3-12 in the Northern Sun Conference. MISU fell to 10-11 and 5-10 in the NSIC.
Wayne State Senior David Anderson scored a career-high 19 points to lead all Wildcats scorers.
Dominique McDonald and Winston Williams each scored 14 for the Beavers.
Mary Wins
Unfortunately, the team with the hot scoring touch reversed the next evening as the University of Mary played spoiler by defeating the ‘Cats 99-80 at Rice Auditorium on Sunday, Jan. 31.
Dolan said the loss came down to “their overall athleticism, (their) team speed, and our youth.”
Despite trading eight leads early on, the Marauders 59 percent shooting from the field could not be matched by WSC.
Wayne was down at halftime 45-33 and was behind by as many as 20 points during the second half.
“We just have to stay the course (going forward),” Dolan said. “The hard work will pay off for this group, because I know they believe in what we are doing.”
Mary’s dual-threat of Bryan Jefferson (26 points) and Isaac Lindquist (15) provided the majority of their 42 points in the paint, holding the Wildcats to just 24.
WSC’s Adam Moon was a bright spot for the team, scoring his second double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds) in the past three games.
‘Cats fall to Dragons
The eighth-ranked MSU Moorhead Dragons heated up on the court and Wayne State was left out in the cold in frigid Moorhead, Minn. on Friday evening at Nemzek Fieldhouse.  The ‘Cats fell 84-72.  MSUM is 23-3 and are 15-2 in the NSIC.
MSU Moorhead took the fight out of WSC by sharp-shooting 58 percent for the contest.
During the first half the ‘Cats kept things close until the Dragons went on a seven-point run with under three minutes to go to make the score 45-32 at half.
WSC’s season-high 12 3-pointers could not erase the 20-plus point lead MSUM had in the second half and the Wildcats could only come within 12 points as the final buzzer sounded.
“We competed and played hard,” Dolan said. “The guys executed our game plan and we fought hard.”
Sophmore guard Matt Thomas led all ‘Cats scorers with 18 points while Isaac Sevlie had a game-high 23 for the Dragons.
WSC now 5-19
Deadly long-range shooting by Northern State hindered Wayne State’s attack as the Wildcats suffered a 12-point 86-74 loss Saturday evening in Aberdeen, SD.
The Wolves shot 13-25 from beyond the arc compared to just four 3-point Wildcat buckets for the game.
Northern State took advantage of several early scoring runs and held a 41-29 lead at intermission.
“We were not focused in the first half, (we) weren’t dialed in,” Dolan said.
During the second half, the ‘Cats got within 10 points (44-34), but could not close in further the rest of the contest.
“The guys played much smarter in the second half,” Dolan said. “But we need to be more consistent in mental preparation and focus to succeed.”
Matt Thomas led the Wildcats in scoring with 19 points, while Skye Warwick led the Wolves with 18.
WSC is now 5-19 overall and 3-15 in the NSIC. Northern State moved to 14-10 and 10-8 for the season.
Wayne State will play next at 8 p.m. in Sioux Falls on Friday and at Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday at 7 p.m.