Wayne State men’s basketball team (13-8, 11-5 GLIAC) defeated visitors Purdue Northwest (1-23, 1-15 GLIAC) 79-61 during a rare Sunday game at the Matthaei.
Coming off a road win in Grand Rapids against Grand Valley State University, led by Chuck Key’s 22 points, the senior wanted to continue his play.
“I just wanted to keep being aggressive, keep making the right plays. I knew they were gonna come out and double, and play zone. I wanted to be efficient for my team,” said Key.
After the first half, the Warriors led the Pride 42-24, while shooting 53 percent from the floor. Sophomore Karim Murray came in off the bench and chipped in with hustle offensive rebounds leading to Warrior points.
Head Coach David Greer talked about the energy that Murray brings off the bench.
“That’s what he brings to the table, but we need him to do that every night,” said Greer. “Nick Mutebi always has been the energy guy for us, but he hasn’t been 100 percent due to a knee injury, but it is important for those guys to get these minutes since they will be coming back next year.”
The Warriors were led offensively by seniors, Marcus Moore, Ronald Booth and George Spencer. Shooting 54 percent for the game while shooting 9 for 16 from the three-point line, Key commented on the efficiency of his team’s offense.
“We got out in transition and finished around the basket, and we hit a couple of shots after moving the basketball around,” said Key.
Purdue Northwest is now 1-15 in GLIAC play. Being their first year as a member of the GLIAC, there has definitely been some growing pains.
“It’s always tough when you join a new league. For us, we’re familiar with the coaches, and once league play starts we know what each others going to do out there,” said Greer. “They are right next to Chicago, so I think they are going to be able to get some good recruits coming in there the next couple years.”
The game, originally scheduled for Saturday, was played on Sunday due to the inclement weather in the Metro Detroit area. For Purdue Northwest, they didn’t arrive in Detroit until Sunday morning, and Greer could tell they were getting a little drained in the second half.
“They couldn’t even get here until today, and we didn’t know how they would react, but we could see them losing energy in the second half,” he said.
With about six minutes to play, Greer emptied the bench and played the reserves. The starters were going crazy on the bench for them.
“We’re all a family, and we see how they work in practice, so it’s always nice to see them succeed on the court in front of their families and other student-athletes,” said Key.
“They work hard, you know, replicating the other team in practice, and I was happy guys like E.J. Haralson and Marcus Bailey representing the football team got their shot today,” said Greer.
The Warriors will travel to Saginaw to visit the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals on Thursday.
“Saginaw is playing really well. They did something we couldn’t do, which swept the Upper Peninsula teams at home. They beat Ashland, [and] they are playing with a lot of confidence, it will be a good test,” said Greer.
“They got good forwards, really good guard [and] they have a lot of good players, so we need to accept the challenge,” said Key.
Wayne State will return home for Senior Day to face Northwood University on Feb. 21. Tip-off is at 3 p.m.