WSC Men Edged By SMSU
Posted: 10 December, 2012
WAYNE - The Wayne State men made a furious comeback in the second half but their rally came up just short as the Mustangs of Southwest Minnesota State were able to hold on for a 74-73 win over WSC. LaTroy Wright scored a career-high 26 points for Wayne State in the losing effort as the Wildcats fall to 6-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play while SMSU improves to 5-5 on the season and 2-1 in the NSIC.
Southwest Minnesota State started the game with a 6-0 run as Matt Zager got things going for the Mustangs with four of the first six points in the game before Wayne State responded with a 5-0 run as Ryan Rolfzen got the ‘Cats on the board with a three pointer and then Amry Shelby hit two free throws to draw WSC within one point at 6-5. SMSU would build their lead up to five before the Wildcats chipped away at it and Ben Galemmo gave Wayne State their first lead of the game, 18-17, with 10:39 remaining in the first half. The Mustangs would then seize momentum of the game and work on building their biggest lead of the game of eight points when Zager hit two free throws with 2:22 remaining in the opening half to give SMSU a 32-24 advantage. Patrick Kurth would score four points in the final 1:37 of the first half for Wayne State to cut their halftime deficit to four points as the ‘Cats trailed 32-28 heading to the locker room. Southwest Minnesota State held the edge in points in the paint (16-12) and points off turnovers (10-3) in the first half while the Wildcats’ bench outscored the Mustangs’ bench 17-11 in the first 20 minutes.
The Mustangs wasted little time building on their lead in the second half as Jordan Miller hit a three pointer 18 seconds into the second half. SMSU would slowly build on their lead achieving the biggest lead of the game at 16 points with a 48-32 advantage with 14:02 remaining in regulation. Wayne State would slowly chip away at the lead and cut the double-digit deficit to just nine points with 3:09 to play when Derrell Williams made a layup to make the score 65-56 in favor of SMSU. Wayne State would then go on a 9-2 over the next 1:14 run fueled by LaTroy Wright and Amry Shelby as each player had four points in that time span to pull the Wildcats within two points at 67-65. After two free throws by Jordan Buddenhagen, Wright drilled a three pointer for WSC to pull them within one point with the score 69-68. The two teams exchanged layups to make the score 71-70 before Nick Smith went to the line shooting one-and-one free throws. Smith made the first one and missed the second but grabbed his own offensive rebound and the Wildcats were forced to foul again. Smith then netted two free throws to give SMSU a 74-70 advantage. Wright hit another three pointer as time expired to pull Wayne State within one at 74-73 as the comeback effort fell just short.
Wayne State outrebounded Southwest Minnesota State 36-31 in the contest but the Mustangs held the edge in shooting percentage hitting on 53.7 percent of their shot attempts from the field while Wayne State shot 42.4 percent from the field. WSC was 28-66 (42.4%) from the field, 7-26 (26.9%) from behind the arc and 10-15 (66.7%) from the free throw line while SMSU shot 22-41 (53.7%) from the field, 5-10 (50.0%) from three point range and 25-33 (75.8%) from the charity stripe. Southwest Minnesota State had the edge in assists (14-11) and blocks (5-3) while Wayne State had the advantage in steals 12-10 and the Wildcats’ defense forced 18 turnovers while the offense only turned it over 13 times.
LaTroy Wright led Wayne State in scoring with a career-high 26 points while also recording four steals, three assists and three rebounds. Amry Shelby was also in double-digits with 12 points while Derrell Williams led WSC in rebounds with 10.
Nick Smith was the leading scorer for the Mustangs with 19 points and Matt Zager also hit double-figures with 16 points.
Wayne State hits the road next weekend for a pair of Northern Sun Conference games, at Upper Iowa Friday night at 8 p.m. and at #18 Winona State Saturday at 6 p.m.