Mike Grosz, Director of Sports Information
WAYNE – For the seventh time in the last eight games, Wayne State held their opponent to less than 40 percent shooting as the Wildcats pulled away late for a 72-52 victory over Minnesota Crookston in a Northern Sun Conference basketball game played Sunday afternoon at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. It was the ninth straight win for the Wildcats, now 10-1 and first place in the NSIC South Division with a perfect 5-0 league mark, while the Golden Eagles slip to 7-6 and 1-4 in league games.
Besides holding Minnesota Crookston to just 35.6 percent shooting (21-59), the Wildcats also shut down the second leading scorer in the NSIC as Golden Eagle guard Harrison Cleary, entering the game as 22 points a contest, was held to just nine points by WSC on 4 of 15 shooting from the field.
Both teams started slow, as the score at the first media timeout was 2-2 with WSC having seven turnovers in the first six minutes of the game, matching their complete game total the night before vs. Bemidji State.
Trailing 6-2, WSC scored eight straight points and led 10-6 following a three-point play by Al’Tavius Jacksonwith 12:00 to play first half.
The game’s fourth and final tie was at 15-15 at the 8:14 mark following a layup from UMC’s Harrison Cleary.
WSC went in front by seven at 24-17 following a Luke TerHark 3-pointer with 5:28 remaining in the half.
After UMC got within two at 24-22, WSC went on a 10-2 run and took a 34-24 lead on Jordan Janssen’s layup as the Wildcats finished the half with a 34-27 lead.
The Wildcats never allowed a Minnesota Crookston comeback in the second half thanks to 51.7 percent (15-29) shooting. After WSC pushed the lead to 12 at 44-32, UMC got as close as eight at 44-36. The Wildcats then scored the next seven points for a 51-36 lead and pushed the lead to as high as 21 points before finishing with the 72-52 victory.
Senior guard Trevin Joseph led WSC in scoring with 18 points on 9 of 17 shooting. Kendall Jacks added 15 points with Vance Janssen (14) and Jordan Janssen (11) also hitting double figures for the ‘Cats.
WSC shot 26 of 57 for the game (45.6%), going 5 of 17 behind the arc. The ‘Cats were 15 for 19 at the foul line.
Minnesota Crookston’s lone double digit scorer was Ben Juhl with 12 points.
UMC was 21 of 59 shooting for 35.6 percent. The Golden Eagles were just 3 of 17 from 3-point range and 7 of 12 at the free throw line.
WSC held a 39-35 edge in rebounding thanks to eight boards from Jordan Janssen. Joseph handed out five assists and had two steals. Jordan Janssen, Vance Janssen and Joseph each had two blocked shots.
The Wildcats had 17 turnovers in the contest, one less than Minnesota Crookston.
WSC is off for the Christmas break and resumes play on Sunday, Dec. 30 hosting Augustana University in a 3:30 p.m. contest in Rice Auditorium.