CBB: USF Swept by Wayne State

SIOUX FALLS – Wayne State College (9-6, 4-3 NSIC) used a late 14-0 run to rally past the University of Sioux Falls Men's Basketball Team (8-4, 4-3 NSIC) in a 78-66 decision in NSIC action before 566 at the Stewart Center Saturday night.

Just like the weather outside, the Cougars had a cold-shooting night, finishing at just 38.7 percent from the field (24-of-62). Junior guard Trevon Evans led USF with 22 points and six rebounds. Evans, who had two steals and two assists, reached double digits in points for the 11th time this season.

Despite being hampered by fouls, junior forward Drew Guebert added 17 points, two steals and two assists. Guebert, who is just one point from 25th all-time at USF in scoring (Skyler Bloch, 1077, 2008-12), now has 51 career double digit scoring games, including 11 this season.

USF led by as much as a nine-points (37-28, :57, 1st half) in the opening half and took a 37-31 margin to the halftime break. However, the Wildcats, which defeated USF for the second straight year at the Stewart Center, outscored the Cougars, 47-29 in the second half. With USF leading, 63-62 with 3:27 to play, WSC put together a 14-0 run to earn their 14th win in 23 games in the all-time series between the two NSIC South Division opponents. USF only had a three-point shot from Aaron Rothermund, who finished with six points, in the final three minutes.

USF lost the rebound battle, 37-to-33, which happened for just the third time in 12 games this season. WSC held an advantage in field goal shooting 51.7 percent (31-of-60) to the 38.7% for USF. While the Cougars made just 3-of-18 from three-point range for 16.7 percent, the Wildcats hammered home 6-of-13 treys for 46.2 percent.
On the positive side, USF recorded a season-high eight blocked shots and also had a season-best 10 steals.

WSC was led in scoring by Trevon Joseph, who had 22 points off the bench as he made 9-of-14 shots from the floor. Kendall Jacks added 21 and grabbed five rebounds with five assists.

After the Wildcats jumped to a 12-6 lead (14:19), the Cougars scored seven straight, including five from Guebert to take a 13-12 lead with 12:47 left in the first half. After two lead changes, USF gained a 22-20 edge on a three-pointer from Evans, who had a team-high 14 points in the first half. With the score knotted at 22, USF took off on a 10-2 run to take a 32-24 lead with 5:15 left in the first half. USF took the nine-point lead at 37-28 when Evans converted a lay-up with 57 seconds to go. However, Vance Janssen hit a trey to keep WSC within 37-31 at halftime.

In the second half, WSC opened on a 9-3 run to tie the game at 40 at the 16:5 mark. Two straight jumpers from Guebert pushed Usf to a 47-44 advantage (11:50). After a Guebert dunk, USF maintained a 51-47 lead with 9:40 to play. However, the Wildcats hung tight and eventually took a 62-51 lead on a three from Janssen with 3:27 to play. On the play, Austin Slater was fouled and made two foul shots to give the lead back to the Cougars.

After that, USF went cold from the field and WSC used foul shooting and a three from Brian Goodwin to build a 71-63 advantage with 1:29 to play. USF was forced to foul as the Wildcats increased the advantage to 76-63 before Aaron Rothermund's three cut it to 10 with 22 seconds left. By that time, the issue was decided as the Cougars dropped their first home game of the season.

Next for USF will be a home game at the Stewart Center on Sunday at 4 p.m. with city rival Augustana.

SIOUX FALLS – Despite 22 points from Kaely Hummel, the University of Sioux Falls Women's Basketball Team (8-3, 5-2) dropped a 74-65 decision to Wayne State (11-4, 5-2 NSIC) at the Stewart Center.

The loss was the first of the year by USF at home and left the Cougars and Wildcats tied for third in the NSIC South at 5-2.

USF, which now trails the Wildcats 9-4 in the all-time series between the schools, led by eight in the first quarter (15-7, 2:40) and nine points (44-35) with 6:28 to play in the third quarter but couldn't hold the advantage. The Wildcats used a 22-11 run to close the third quarter for a 57-55 advantage. Early in the fourth quarter, USF drew within 58-57 (7:30) but WSC put together a 10-2 run to take control. The Cougars closed within 67-63 with 3:20 left but a shot rimmed out and WSC took advantage with a three-point play at the other end for a 70-63 advantage.

Hummel reached 20 points for the fourth time this season and for the third time in five games. She hit 8-of-20 shots, including four of 13 from three-point range while grabbing six rebounds. Sophomore guard Mariah Szymanski had a career-high 18 points as she was 8-of-18 from the floor and recorded three steals. Huinker finished with six points, six rebounds and three assists.

For the game, USF made 24-of-67 shots for 35.8 percent, including 8-of-29 for 27.6 percent from three point range. The Cougars, which were outrebounded, 48-32, made 9-of-14 from the foul line. But it was at the free throw stripe that WSC held a significant edge, making 23-of-28. The Wildcats placed four in double figures, including Paige Ballinger, who had a double double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kacie O'Connor had 14 points, all in the third quarter when WSC outscored USF, 26-23.

After WSC opened the game with a 3-0 lead, the Cougars scored seven straight, including four from Huinker for a 7-3 lead. USF pushed the lead to 15-7 with under three to play before the Wildcats scored nine straight for a 16-15 lead. Andi Mataloni hit a three with three seconds left in the quarter as USF took an 18-16 advantage the break. USF, which hit 8-of-18 shots for 44.4 percent in the quarter, were led by Szymanski with five points. The Cougars also had a 12-7 rebound edge over the taller Wildcats.

In the second quarter, USF extended the lead to 20-16 before WSC had a 7-2 run to take a 23-22 advantage. After WSC led, 29-23, Szymanski converted a drive and score which was followed by a pair of foul shots from Huinker as Cougars cut the lead to two (29-27, 2:45, 2nd). Another drive and conversion by Szymanski, who had a team-high nine points in the first half, with 37 seconds left gave the Cougars a halftime advantage of 32-31.

In the opening half, USF hit 12-of-34 shots from the floor for 35.3 percent, but were just 2-of-13 from three point range. WSC, which had a 23-21 rebound edge, hit 11-of-29 for 37.9 percent from the field. The Wildcats were 2-of-5 from three point range and held a 7-to-6 advantage at the foul line. Hummel added eight points and six rebounds while Huinker had six points and four rebounds.
USF opened the third quarter four treys, including two from Hummel and one from Szymanski and Sanders to build a 44-35 lead with 6:18 on the clock. Two foul shots from Maggie Schulte enabled WSC to cut the advantage to 46-43 at the 4:58 mark. WSC continued their run, adding five more for a 48-46 advantage with 2:51 to play. Hummel helped USF to a 52-49 lead with a pair of threes at the two minute mark.

The Wildcats used their strength inside and opened up a 67-57 advantage with a 10-2 run to open the fourth quarter. The Cougars sliced into the lead with a 6-0 run and trailed just 67-63 at the 3:02 mark. In that run, Szymanski with two baskets. However, WSC, led by Ballinger's three-point play, closed on a 7-2 margin as they defeated USF, 74-65.

USF will be home again on Sunday as they face #14 Augustana with tipoff set for 2 p.m. at the Stewart Center.