SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: Mustangs snap streak with dominating victory over Wayne State

MARSHALL — Southwest Minnesota State snapped a five-game losing streak with four players reaching double figures in scoring to earn a 78-61 victory over Wayne State in NSIC men’s college basketball on Friday night inside the R/A Facility.

SMSU, which never trailed in the game, also snapped a seven-game home losing streak, and improves to 8-19 overall, 5-16 NSIC. SMSU also defeated Wayne State in Wayne, Neb., on Jan. 4. The Wildcats dropped their fifth in a row and fall to 10-20 overall, 7-14 NSIC.

Jake Phipps tied a career-high with 18 points on 8 of 11 shooting, while also grabbing five rebounds and recording two blocked shots to pace the Mustangs. Grant Kramer was also big for the Mustangs as he reached a career-high with 17 points on 5 of 9 shooting with five 3-pointers. Kenny Byers notched his team-leading eighth double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and a team-high six assists. Weston Baker Magrath was the final Mustang in double figures with 13 points, while pulling downs eight rebounds and blocking four shots.

SMSU finished the night shooting 49 percent (29 of 59) from the field and held a 42-28 rebound margin.

WSC was led by Jordan Janssen’s 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Wildcats shot 39 percent (20 of 52) from the field and made just 3 of 15 from 3-point range.

SMSU stormed out of the game scoring the game’s first eight points in the opening two and a half minutes. The lead reached double figures for the first time with 12:30 remaining following three straight field goals by Phipps which started an 11-0 run to eventually extend the lead to 22-7 at the 11-minute mark.

The margin would move to 18 points with 4:55 left after two free throw by Brian Dayman. WSC cut the deficit to 39-27 with a minute left in the half, but Andy Stafford and Kramer each connected on field goals in the last minute to help SMSU build a 44-28 halftime advantage.

SMSU would extend the lead to 50-31 following a Baker Magrath dunk three minutes into the half, but WSC wouldn’t go away and closed the deficit to 55-46 at the 12:44 mark.

The Mustangs would use a three-point play by Kramer moments later to regain a double-digit lead, but once again the Wildcats would respond and eventually made the score 61-53 with 8:50 left in the game. SMSU answered back in a big way using a 7-0 run with Byers starting the spark with a layup and capped off by another Baker Magrath dunk to give the Mustangs a 68-53 lead and never looked back.

Southwest Minnesota State closes the regular season tonight hosting Augustana at 6 p.m.

— Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic



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