Wayne State’s men’s basketball team suffered a 101–97 overtime loss to Saginaw Valley State, while the women’s team held on for a 50–48 win at the Matthaei on Jan. 19.
WSU scored the first seven points of the game and after SVSU took a 14-13 lead, a basket by senior forward Jovan Henderson gave the home team a lead that they would hold for the rest of the half.
Both offenses traded baskets for most of the period with a layup by senior guard Latin Davis Jr giving the home team a 52–44 lead at the intermission.
The halftime break didn’t slow either offense down as WSU continued to maintain a sizeable lead for the first ten minutes of the half, leading 73–65 with 9:17 remaining.
SVSU stayed within striking distance for the rest of the half and tied the game with a three-pointer with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
The Cardinals would score on their first four possessions of the extra session and used two WSU turnovers to secure the win.
After the game, head coach David Greer said getting away from the team’s identity hurt the team in attempting to close the game out.
“We got to lay our hat on defense and ball control offense. We got away from that today,” Greer said. “It was working good for a while but whenever you get in that situation, you run the risk of a team getting hot, which (SVSU) did.”
WSU was led on offense by Davis who scored 31 points with sophomore guard Darian Owens-White adding 20.
Greer said it’s been tough for the team to drop four close games in a row, but the team has to figure out how to close games out.
“It still comes back to reassessing why you lost those games or what you can do better, and as a team that’s what we got to do,” Greer said.
After the Cardinals scored on their first two possessions, WSU went on an 8–0 run to take the lead. The Warriors would keep the lead for most of the period and a three-pointer by junior guard Lyndsey Matus gave the home team a 17-10 lead after one period.
SVSU scored the first eight points of the second quarter to take an 18–17 lead before WSU scored the next seven points to give the home team a 24–18 lead. Both defenses dominated the final five minutes of the half, as WSU would take a 29–22 lead into halftime.
After extending their lead to 32–22 early in the third, WSU was outscored by the visitors 14–4 for the rest of the quarter as the game went to the final ten minutes tied at 36.
The Warriors would reclaim the lead early in the fourth and maintained their advantage for most of the final quarter before a three-pointer closed SVSU’s deficit to 49–48 with one minute remaining.
After a missed shot by the visitors, senior guard India Hawkins made one of two free throws to give WSU a 50–48 lead with 14 seconds left. A missed shot by SVSU and rebound by Ja’Nae Williams with one second left sealed the win for WSU.
After the game, Hawkins said the team’s desire to get a win kept them focused on the game’s final possession.
“We knew that we needed one stop, so you have lock in one play at a time and (we knew) that we had to stay composed and I feel like we did that very well,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins led all scorers with 16 points, with junior guard Alex Matus adding 11 points for WSU.
Heading into the team’s next game versus Ashland University, head coach Carrie Lohr said she wants to see the team clean up its transition game.
“I thought that we didn’t run the floor offensively very well (today). When you’re playing a team like Ashland, you got to be able to get up and down the floor, but you have to be able to do it under control and get good shots,” Lohr said.
The women’s team improved its record to 10–8 on the year (5-5 GLIAC) with the win, while the men fell to 3-11(3-7 GLIAC) with the loss.
Both teams return to the Matthaei to take on Ashland University Jan. 26.
Cover photo courtesy of Jose Juarez. The photo is not from WSU's game against SVSU on Jan. 19.
Matt Williams is sports editor of The South End. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.