Wildcat men in first place after weekend sweep

The Wayne State men’s basketball team won two games at Southwest Minnesota State over the weekend, and have moved into first place in the NSIC South Division as a result of their recent efforts.

On Friday, Wayne State used 58 percent shooting and four players in double figures as the Wildcats led from start to finish in an 82-54 victory.

The ‘Cats used a lengthy scoring run early in the game to build a double-digit advantage and never look back. A 13-0 run helped them build a 19-4 advantage following two straight baskets from Alec Millender, and Wayne State held a double figure lead the rest of the night.

WSC hit 14-of-27 shots in the first half while holding SMSU to just 26 percent shooting (7-26) as the Wildcats held a 35-20 lead at intermission.

The Wildcats never allowed a chance for SMSU to make a comeback in the second half as WSC scorched the nets on 19-of-30 shooting in the second half that included a stellar 7-of-10 performance behind the arc as 10 different Wildcats scored in the convincing victory.

Junior forward Jordan Janssen paced a balanced Wildcat attack with 15 points and 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season. Millender also scored 15 points while Nate Mohr and Justin Eagins each produced 13 points.

Millender had six assists with Janssen adding five while Ben Dentlinger matched a career-high with five blocked shots.

On Saturday, Wayne State saw four players score double figures while the Wildcats shot over 50 percent for the fifth straight game in a 74-56 win to improve to 9-3 in the division and 9-5 overall.

SMSU held an early 6-5 lead in the game, but Wayne State scored the next 13 points over a span of 3:56 to take the lead for good and take a double digit lead at 18-6 following a Nate Thayer 3-pointer with 12:07 left in the first half.

SMSU scored the first four points of the second half to close within one at 40-39, but WSC shut the door on the Mustangs and scored the next 11 points to push the lead back to double figures at 51-39 on a Ben Dentlinger basket with 13:14 to play.

Janssen recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 14 points and rebounds to pace a balanced Wildcat attack.  Eagins followed with 13 points while Mohr (12) and Alec Millender (10) also hit double digits for WSC.

Wayne State concludes the regular season next weekend with road games at Augustana Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday in a 3 p.m. contest at the Sanford Pentagon.

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