WAYNE — The Wayne State men defeated Northern State University of Aberdeen, South Dakota, while the the Wildcat women dropped a game to the Wolves here at Rice Auditorium on Friday night.
The men turned back the Wolves 69-53 while the Wayne State women dropped a 64-53 contest after trailing by 14 in the first quarter.
"This team is starting to figure things out without any coaching," Wayne State men's coach Jeff Kaminsky said. "We have a lot of guys stepping up to do what we want. We'll see how that progresses."
The Wildcats bolted to a nine-point advantage at the end of the first 20 minutes and then increased the lead to a dozen when Alec Millender hit a 3-pointer off of a Northern State turnover with 16 minutes, 52 seconds left in the second half.
The Wolves trimmed the lead to five some four minutes later before Wayne State finished off the game.
"I was really glad to see us finish this game off here at home," Kaminsky said. "We could have ended up in the middle of a tight game if we hadn't responded to their run midway through the second half."
With the Wildcats up by five, Jordan Janssen grabbed a pass from Nate Mohr and slammed it home to make it seven points with just under 10 minutes left before he followed his slam with another shot inside to make it a nine-point advantage.
Sean Stokes fired in a 3 to put the lead back to a dozen with 7:51 left in the contest.
"We did exactly what we needed to do when it needed to be done," Kaminsky said.
Later in the half, Northern State would cut the lead in half, but once again, the Wildcats responded with a 14-4 run that ended the game with Wayne State up by the 69-54 final, its largest lead of the night.
In the women's game, the Wildcats were without junior guard Kylie Hammer, who injured a knee in practice earlier in the week. According to coach Brent Pollari, they missed their injured guard.
"We certainly missed her inside-outside game," Pollari said. "She does a great job of driving the ball in and kicking it back out to an open shooter."
And when the Wildcats did get an outside shot, they had trouble connecting, making only 6 of 27 shots from beyond the 3-point line.
"Some of our shooting problems were their defense," Pollari said. "Some of that was us just not shooting the ball very well."
After trailing by 14 at the end of the first 10 minutes, the Wildcats clawed their way back in the second quarter to within four at the break.
Logan Hughes fired an assist to Lauren Zacharias with 1:33 left in the half and then made a 3-pointer with just over a minute left in the half to make it 32-28 in favor of the Wolves.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats could get no closer in the second half and Northern State would get away with the 11-point win.
"We simply need to find a way to put is in better situations on the court," Pollari said. "They prevented us from getting out and using our speed advantage on our end of the court, and they did a good job of pounding the ball inside on us when they had the ball."
Hughes finished the game with a team-high 20 points, followed by Zacharias with 11.
Both teams were set to play Minnesota State-Moorhead back here at Rice Auditorium Saturday, but the games were called off because of COVID protocols on the MSU-Moorhead teams.
The Wildcat men improved to 8-6 on the season while the women's team slipped to 7-6.
Northern State 24 29 — 53
Wayne State 33 36 — 69
WAYNE STATE COLLEGE (8-6, 5-3): Ben Dentlinger 2 2-2 6; Jordan Janssen 5 2-2 12; Alec Millender 3 2-2 11; Justin Eagins 8 2-2 20; Nate Mohr 2 0-0 6; Cody McCullough 2 1-2 5; Sean Stokes 2 0-0 5; Nate Thayer 1 1-2 4.
NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY (10-7, 4-5): Cole Bergan 1 1-2 3; Jacksen Moni 2 0-0 5; Jordan Belka 8 1-2 20; Sam Masten 5 1-1 11; Augustin Reede 2 2-2 8; Kobe Busch 1 1-2 4; Trey Longstreet 1 0-1 2.
Northern State 23 9 13 19 — 64
Wayne State 9 19 13 12 — 53
WAYNE STATE COLLEGE (7-6, 4-5): Kassidy Pingel 2 2-2 6; Maya Fitzpatrick 3 0-0 7; Logan Hughes 5 6-6 20; Tate Norblade 1 3-4 5; Lauren Zacharias 3 4-6 11; Abby Kopecky 0 0-1 0; Annie Guentzel 1 0-0 2; Avery Kallman 1 0-0 2.
NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY (7-7, 4-5): Lexi Roe 7 8-10 24; Brynn Alfson 2 6-6 10; Laurie Rogers 2 3-4 7; Rianna Fillipi 5 5-6 15; Haley Johnson 0 5-6 5; Carly Mekash 1 1-1 3.