Wayne State basketball celebrates Senior Night - The South End: Sports

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“It meant the world to us to win at what potentially might be our last home game,”

Wayne State basketball celebrates Senior Night

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Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 2:08 pm

Wayne State basketball’s Senior Night commemorated the last home games for both the men and women’s basketball teams on Feb. 23. Senior Night follows the tradition that each team honor their senior players as they graduate.

Women’s basketball loses 77-70

Matching up against Saginaw Valley State University, the Wayne State women’s team began the game with a solid performance in the first quarter, leading SVSU 14-12. However, SVSU jumped ahead in the second quarter, taking a 21-17 lead into halftime.

At halftime, the crowd settled to commend seniors Christina Green and Ajai Meeks for their dedication to the basketball program.

The third quarter drew steam for the Warriors, clocking an 18-16 WSU lead. But the lead quickly faded in the fourth quarter, especially after Green was fouled out with 4:39 left in the game.

Green said it was a crushing defeat to be her last game as a collegiate athlete, and said she was particularly upset about leaving her team to an unfinished game.

“It hurt really bad,” Green said. “I just wanted to finish with my team, but I had to get myself together really quick and support the rest of the game, support my team. I wanted to see them fight, and they did.”

Men’s basketball wins 57-53

Following the women’s defeat, the WSU men’s basketball team sought to quickly change the mood.

Senior Joel Ndondo entered the first quarter with six points to boost the Warriors to an early 6-0 lead against SVSU. WSU jumped to a 10-4 lead, but SVSU found a steady rhythm and started easing the score back in their favor, eventually regaining the lead.

Junior Chuck Key helped the Warriors to a healthy 21-16 lead, and continued to barrel shots, increasing a WSU lead by steady increments.

SVSU, however, began to match the Warrior intensity and by halftime, SVSU led WSU 26-25.

During halftime, seniors Michael Lewis, Clark Bishop and Ndondo were greeted by flowers and a gym full of praise at Senior Night.

“They’ve been great ambassadors for Wayne State,” Coach David Greer said. “They’ve excelled in athletics and in the classroom. They’re living testimony of that.”

After the ceremony, the Warriors shot back onto the court and played a resilient second half.

Quickly, WSU fell behind in points and tempo. Eventually, SVSU led WSU 53-49, with 3:49 remaining in the game.

After a free throw from Key, At 1:54, Key hit a jump shot to position WSU within striking distance, trailing SVSU by one point, 53-52.

With 1:09 left to play, Key blocked a shot, gained possession of the ball and found junior Ronald Booth at the three-point line for the go ahead bucket with 42 seconds left.

On the next SVSU possession, the Warriors forced a turnover that led to a Booth transition layup. Prior to those final five points, Booth shot 1-8 from the field.

“It meant the world to us to win at what potentially might be our last home game,” Lewis said. “It feels good. To win in front of the home crowd feels euphoric.”

The Warriors will now enter the GLIAC tournament as the #5 seed, traveling to Michigan Tech University to take on the Huskies on Feb. 28

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