WSC Men Come Back From 18 Down To Beat NSU
Posted: 09 February, 2013
WAYNE - Junior forward Ryan Rolfzen drained a three pointer from the left corner as time expired to culminate an 18-point rally in the final 12 minutes as Wayne State shocked Northern State 70-67 in Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball played Friday evening at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The Wildcats improve to 14-9 on the season and 8-9 in league play while Northern State, co-leaders in the NSIC North Division entering the night, fall to 17-7 and 12-5 in the NSIC.
Northern State used sizzling shooting in the first half, making 19 of 27 shots for 70 percent, and used a scoring surge in the final four minutes of the half to take a 44-30 lead at intermission. The game was close until the Wolves scoring spurt to end the half as WSC only trailed 32-28 with 4:16 to go in the half. But Northern State scored 12 straight points until an Amry Shelby jumper with four seconds to go in the half stopped the run to make the halftime score 44-30 in favor of the Wolves.
The Wolves still maintained a double digit lead for the first part of the second half until the Wildcats began their comeback. Northern State was ahead 58-40 with 12:04 to play when the rally began for Wayne State. With the Wolves still leading 61-52 with 5:48 to play, junior backup forward Ryan Rolfzen sank three straight 3-pointers in a span of just 1:43 and pulled the Wildcats within two points at 63-61.
Wayne State took their first lead of the game at 65-64 with 1:39 to play on a jumper by Amry Shelby. Northern State regained the lead on the next possession as Collin Pryor made a three point play giving the Wolves a 67-65 lead with 1:15 left. Shelby quickly drove through the Wolves’ defense eight seconds later to even the score at 67-67. On the Wolves’ next possession, Mack Arvidson was called for an offensive foul with 34.3 seconds left, giving Wayne State the final possession and a chance to win the game.
After calling timeout with 18 seconds to play, the Wildcats set up for the final shot. Shelby drove into the lane and passed the ball into the left corner where Rolfzen launched a 3-pointer that was good as the buzzer sounded capping the frantic comeback by the Wildcats in shocking Northern State 70-67.
Shelby led Wayne State in scoring with 16 points, 14 of them in the second half. Rolfzen, who was scoreless until 4:43 left in the game, finished with 12 points on four 3-pointers while Derrell Williams also scored 12 points.
Wayne State finished the game making 27 of 52 shots for 52 percent, making 16 of 27 shots (59.2%) in the second half. The ‘Cats were 10 of 17 (59%) from three point range and 6 for 7 at the foul line.
Northern State’s top scorer was Collin Pryor with 17 followed by Dustin Tetzlaff’s 13 points. Jared Hannigan and Geoffrey Firmin each added 10 points for the Wolves, who shot 26 of 46 from the field for 56.5 percent. NSU was 5 of 10 from the three point line and 10 for 18 at the charity stripe.
The Wolves had a 31-20 advantage in rebounding over the Wildcats as Pryor hauled in 11 boards for Northern State while Williams had six rebounds to lead the Wildcats. WSC had just 10 turnovers while forcing the Wolves into 19. Williams had four steals for WSC while Shelby and LaTroy Wright each handed out four assists.
Wayne State will conclude their Northern Sun Conference road trip with a Saturday evening 6 p.m. contest at MSU Moorhead.