WAYNE — The Wayne State men and women's basketball teams played a doubleheader in Rice Auditorium here Friday night in front of what ended up to be more than 1,200 people against two different teams.
The Wildcat men improved to 2-2 on the young season with a 95-72 win over Simpson College while the women fell to 2-1 with a loss to Black Hills State University, 66-50.
The men's team had little trouble from its opponent from Indianola, Iowa, and cruised to the 23-point win after leading by more than 30 during the contest.
"I don't want to sound like a coach," Wayne State coach Jeff Kaminsky said. "But we really need to get better and finish a game."
Although the season is young, Kaminsky is looking for better things from this squad that won a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division title last year as it heads into NSIC action next week.
"We played two very different teams this week, which will help down the road," Kaminsky said. "But we need to play these teams better when we play them. The competition will be ramped up as we move along in the season."
The Wildcats never trailed on the night and built a 57-32 lead at the intermission.
Wayne State defeated Bellevue 74-40 just three days prior to the win over the Storm on Friday.
"Simpson was an offensive team that wanted to get up and down the court and try to outscore you," Kaminsky said. "Bellevue was more a slow-down kind of defensive team, so we got some experience in different styles of play."
Both wins were big wins on the scoreboard, but Kaminsky knows his team will have to get better to still be playing basketball come March.
"I told the guys we need to respect every team we play," he said. "If we want to move forward and reach the things we've talked about, we've got plenty of work to do."
Five Wildcats hit double figures on the night, led by Justin Eagins with a game-high 19.
Wayne State was up 12-10 when Eagins hit a 3-pointer and scored on a fast break on consecutive possessions.
Ben Dentlinger got free inside for a slam with 13 minutes left in the first half and the Wildcats were up 19-10. The lead grew to 11 when Jay Saunders stole the ball and went in for lay-in 19 seconds later and Wayne State was on its way to the lopsided win.
In the women's contest, Wayne State was beaten by a nonconference foe in Rice Auditorium for the first time since 2008 and for the first time anywhere this season as it dropped to 2-1 on the young campaign.
The loss to the Yellow Jackets snapped a 48-game home nonconference winning streak.
"I knew Black Hills would be the toughest opponent we would have played to date," Wildcat women's coach Brent Pollari said. "They are a very good defensive team, and they really get after you on the boards."
The Wildcats stayed with the Yellow Jackets in the first quarter, which ended with Wayne State in front 14-13.
By halftime Black Hills was up 32-26.
"We had good effort all night," Pollari said. "We just couldn't sustain any consistency offensively."
The Wildcat lead was 18-16 at the 8:44 mark in the second 10 minutes after Lauren Zacharias grabbed a Yellow Jacket turnover and scored in the paint.
The last Wayne State advantage was a little over a minute later when Maya Fitzpatrick scored on a lay-up to make it 20-18.
"We are a young team and we need to learn the amount of intensity it takes to keep with and beat a good team," Pollari said. "It's something we will work on get better at as we gain some experience."
By the half, Black Hills State was up by six and the lead grew to as many as 17 in the second half before settling at 66-50 at the final buzzer.
Both teams will be back in action at Rice Auditorium as they host Augustana from Sioux Falls on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
The women will tip off at 5:30 p.m. while the Wildcat men will take on the Vikings at 7:30 p.m. as they open NSIC action.
Simpson 32 40 — 72
Wayne State 57 38 — 95
SIMPSON COLLEGE (1-3): Caden Rehmeier 1 2-3 5; Chris Honz 2 0-0 4; Trent Williamson 2 1-2 6; Buck Eagleburger 2 1-2 5; Andrew Curran 7 0-0 18; Jack Hutchinson 5 0-0 10; Lincoln Swanson 0 7-8 7; Marcus McCray 1 0-0 2; Rhett Darland 3 0-0 9; Brock Jensen 2 0-0 6.
WAYNE STATE COLLEGE (2-2): Ben Dentlinger 3 0-0 6; Jordan Janssen 5 0-0 10; Alec Millender 3 4-4 10; Jay Saunders 7 0-0 14; Justin Eagins 7 2-2 19; Nate Mohr 3 0-0 8; Cody McCullough 3 1-2 7; Sean Stokes 4 2-2 13; Zach LaFave 3 0-0 6; Karter Lein 1 0-0 2.
Black Hills 13 19 20 14 — 66
Wayne State 14 12 14 10 — 50
BLACK HILLS STATE UNIVERSITY (2-1): Morgan Hammerbeck 2 0-0 4; Ashley Davis 2 4-4 8; Megan Engesser 2 2-2 7; Danica Kocer 4 0-1 9; Ashlee Beacom 2 0-0 6; Niki Van Wyk 1 3-4 6; Samantha Oase 1 1-2 3; Raven Cournoyer 2 0-0 5; Summer Fox 0 2-2 2; Kammie Ragsdale 1 0-0 2; Kella Bertrand 3 1-2 8; Haylee Weathersby 2 2-2 6.
WAYNE STATE COLLEGE (2-1): Kassidy Pingel 0 2-2 2; Maya Fitzpatrick 4 2-6 11; Logan Hughes 2 2-3 6; Kylie Hammer 1 4-4 6; Lauren Zacharias 6 0-0 16; Abby Kopecky 3 0-0 7; Ashley Gustavson 1 0-0 2.