WSU hands No. 4 Hillsdale first loss
A game after beating then-No. 1 Findlay, Warriors top Chargers
Wayne St. (Mich.) Athletics
HILLSDALE, Mich. -- Wayne State (Mich.) (11-2 overall, 7-0 GLIAC) moved into sole possession of first place in the GLIAC South Division with a 66-52 triumph at No. 4-ranked Hillsdale College (13-1 overall, 6-1 GLIAC) Thursday evening.
The win was WSU's second in six days over a team ranked in the top four in the nation (NABC poll). The Warriors are ranked 27th this week following last Saturday's 91-68 victory in Detroit over Findlay.
After an early bucket by Charger Brent Eaton, WSU rattled off six consecutive points on hoops by senior center Ike Udanoh (Detroit, Mich./Harper Woods Notre Dame), junior guard Dale Brundidge (Southfield, Mich./Detroit Country Day) and sophomore guard Mike Hollingsworth (Utica, Mich.). After a triple by Eaton, WSU senior forward Jerry Oden (Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech) scored down low for an 8-5 advantage.
Wayne State trailed 9-8 following a bucket by Charger Brad Guinane at the 13:42 mark. Two free throws by senior guard Bryan Smothers (Pontiac, Mich./Northern) preceded another Hollingsworth hoop. Joe Caruso nailed a three-pointer for the hosts to knot the game at 12.
WSU led 17-14 at the second media timeout after a jumper by sophomore forward Ian Larkin (Detroit, Mich./Renaissance) was ruled a two-pointer following a discussion by the officials. Hillsdale was held scoreless for the next three minutes as WSU tallied six points to gain a 23-16 lead.
Following a pair of foul shots for the Chargers cut the Warrior lead to 25-18 at the 5:25 mark, WSU went on a 5-0 run as HC was held pointless for nearly three minutes.
Wayne State held a 32-23 lead at intermission.
Hillsdale started the second half outscoring the Warriors 14-6 over the first 5:30 to pull within one at 38-37.
WSU responded with an 8-4 spurt over the next 4:47 and then held HC to only two points in a span of 8:10 to pull away for a 52-43 advantage at 4:51 mark.
Wayne State's next 12 points all came from the foul line including an 8-for-10 shooting during double bonus situations.
Larkin scored a team-high 14 points off the bench, one shy of his career high, to lead five Warriors in double figures. Smothers chipped in with 12 points, while Udanoh and Hollingsworth each tallied 11 points. Oden contributed 10 points.
Larkin nearly had his second career double-double with a game-best nine rebounds.
Hillsdale entered the week seventh in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (43.0), but the WSU defense limited the Chargers to 20 percent (4-20). HC had been averaging 8.5 triples a game (25th in the country). The Chargers shot 34 percent (20-58) from the floor well below their 49.7 percent season average, which was 21st nationally.
Wayne State shot 45 percent from the field (22-49), and out-rebounded the Chargers 36-31. WSU also had seven blocked shots, and made 85 percent (22-26) from the charity stripe.
Wayne State visits eighth-ranked Findlay this Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip-off in a rematch of last Saturday's game.