Wayne State men’s basketball picked up their first win of the season by defeating the defending National Champion Ferris State Bulldogs 90-89, while the women’s team suffered a 68-51 loss at the Matthaei on Nov. 29.
The men’s team fell behind early to Ferris State, as FSU led 10-2, and the visitors maintained their lead for most of the first half, before WSU finished on a 7-2 run to take a 44-43 lead into the intermission.
WSU went on to control the first ten minutes of the second half, extending their lead to 68-56, before Ferris State went on an 18-3 run to take a 74-71 lead with 5:24 remaining. After WSU took a 79-77 lead with 3:46 left, both teams alternated baskets until a missed shot by junior guard Karim Murray with 21 seconds left gave FSU a chance to win the game, as WSU led 90-89. After a Ferris State timeout, WSU would get a stop on defense on the ensuing possession to seal the victory.
After the game, head coach David Greer said starting off conference play with a win is huge for the team.
“Being able to start the conference off with a win against a tough team in the North, I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” Greer said.
Murray said that the team had an idea about what the Bulldogs would do defensively, and credits sophomore guard Darian Owens-White for the team’s performance in the second half.
“We knew what they were going to do in the second half based off us getting to the basket in the first half,” Murray said. “So we had to adjust and Darian played a big part in controlling the team to put everyone in the right spot to be successful.”
Murray and Owens-White each scored 23 points to lead WSU on offense, with Murray posting 13 rebounds.
The women’s team got off to a fast start scoring the game’s first eight points and took a 10-2 lead with 6:48 remaining in the first quarter. Despite the Bulldogs outscoring the Warriors 13-7 for the rest of the quarter, WSU held a 17-15 lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Ferris State went on a 15-4 run in the final five minutes of the half to take a 34-23 lead at halftime.
The Bulldogs maintained control of the game in the third quarter as they would extend their lead to 53-27, and the visitors held a 56-35 lead heading into the final quarter, where they would keep WSU down double digits and pulled away with the win.
With four freshmen playing significant minutes for the team early in the season, head coach Carrie Lohr said adjusting to the college game will be key for the new players.
“I’m playing four freshmen that are playing significant minutes, and I think the game may be moving a little fast for them,” Lohr said. “I believe they want to win, they are competitors, (but) I think they’re just lacking experience too.”
For the game, WSU shot 29 percent (20-67) from the field and 31 percent (5-16) from the three-point line. Senior guard India Hawkins and junior guard Nastassja Chambers each scored nine points to lead the offense.
With the win, the men’s team improved their record to 1-4 (1-0 GLIAC) on the season, while the women’s team fell to 2-4 (0-1 GLIAC) on the season.
Both teams return to action Dec. 1 versus Lake Superior State University at the Matthaei.