Wildcats win 3-OT thriller at Winona

The Wayne State men’s basketball team picked up a triple-overtime thriller at Winona State before falling to Upper Iowa in last weekend’s road trip.

Wayne State won for the first time in nine games away from Rice Auditorium this season as the Wildcats outlasted Winona State 102-97 in triple overtime Friday in Winona, Minn.

The triple-overtime thriller featured 14 ties and 11 lead changes with late heroic baskets by both teams sending the game into extra sessions.

Winona State held an eight-point lead in the first half at 23-15, with Wayne State coming back to cut the deficit to one at intermission 33-32.

The host Warriors held the lead for most of the second half and was in front 63-57 with 5:22 to play before the Wildcats rallied and took a 68-65 lead on a Ben Dentlinger 3-pointer with 2:35 remaining.

Winona State forced the first overtime when guard Devin Whitelow recorded a putback off a missed 3-pointer from Kevion Taylor as time expired, sending the game into overtime at 70-70.

The Wildcats appeared to be in control of the first extra session, leading by seven at 81-74 with just :3 left, but Winona State made a pair of 3-pointers in the final 3.2 seconds of the first overtime and the second trey from Caleb Wagner with 0.5 to play sent the game into a second overtime at 83-83.

Wagner’s 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in the second overtime gave Winona State a 91-89 advantage. Wayne State’s Nick Ferrarini was short on a potential game-winning, 3-pointer, but Henry Penner made a basket off the miss with 3.6 on the clock to send the game to a third extra session knotted at 91-91.

The Wildcats never trailed in the third overtime, building a six-point lead at 98-92 with 2:55 to go and the Wildcats made four free throws late to hang on for the wild win.

Ferrarini led four Wildcats in double figures with a career-best 29 points. Jordan Janssen followed with 23 and sophomore guard Nate Mohr added 20. Dentlinger contributed a career-high 18 points in the win.

Janssen had nine caroms for WSC followed by Dentlinger with eight. Janssen handed out a career-best seven assists and had two blocks.

The game was the first triple-overtime contest for the Wildcats since the 2003-04 season when Wayne State won 118-111 at Minnesota Crookston on Jan. 17, 2004. 

On Saturday, Upper Iowa used a 22-6 scoring run midway through the second half to take control and  pull away late for a 80-73 victory over Wayne State in Fayette, Iowa.

Despite playing three overtimes the night before, Wayne State (6-13, 3-7 NSIC) came out on fire as the Wildcats took a 14-4 lead just over five minutes into the contest.

Wayne State led 17-6 on a Nick Ferrarini 3-pointer and still led 23-14 at the 9:37 mark of the first half when the host Peacocks went on a 14-0 scoring run, holding the Wildcats scoreless for 6:01 to take a 28-23 lead.

Henry Penner gave Wayne State a 53-50 lead with 12:14 to go in the contest, but Upper Iowa scored seven straight points to start a 22-6 scoring run that gave the Peacocks a 72-59 lead and the Peacocks never looked back.

Mohr scored a game-high 20 points in a losing effort to lead Wayne State. Ferrarini (18) and Janssen (17) also hit double digits for the Wildcats. Janssen had nine rebounds and six assists.

The Wildcats are at home this weekend, hosting MSU Moorhead Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Northern State Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

The Wayne Herald

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