The Wayne State women ran their conference winning streak to five games while the men came up short against the 25th-ranked team in the country as the teams battled Soutwhest Minnesota State on Saturday at Rice Auditorium.
In the women’s game, the Wildcats used a solid third quarter to overcome a four-point halftime deficit and come away with a 78-70 win over the Lady Mustangs.
Wayne State ran into some foul trouble after taking a first-quarter lead, and the visiting Lady Mustangs led by as many as seven points before settling on a 38-34 halftime advantage.
Wayne State came back to tie the game at 40-40 and took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Haley Moore early in the third period. Maggie Schulte added a three-point play to make it 46-41 and the Wildcats maintained that five-point advantage going to the final period.
Wayne State (10-3, 5-3 NSIC) built their lead to as many as 11 points and held off a late Southwest charge, finishing off the win by going 6-for-6 at the free throw line for the win.
Schulte led five Wildcats in double figures with 21 points. Paige Ballinger added 16 points, Andrea Larson put in 15, Moore had a season-high 12 points and Kacie O’Connor added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
In the men’s game, visiting Southwest Minnesota State built a 15-point halftime lead and kept the host Wildcats from mounting any kind of comeback, finishing off an 85-73 win in Saturday’s finale.
The Wildcats led early in the game, as Kendall Jacks scored five of Wayne State’s first points to make it 7-6 early in the game. Southwest responded with a big run, turning that early deficit into a 22-11 lead midway through the first half.
Wayne State got as close as seven on a JJ Zumbrennen 3-pointer with 7:16 to go in the half, but the Mustangs followed with a 9-0 run and led by as many as 18 points early int he second half to come away with the win.
Jacks and Matt Thomas each scored 19 points and Jordan Cornelius added 11 for the Wildcats, who fell to 4-10 overall and 2-6 in NSIC play.
Both Wayne State teams are on the road next weekend, visiting Concordia-St. Paul on Friday and Minnesota State on Saturday.