Wayne State (Mich.) Athletics
ASHLAND, Ohio – No. 21 Wayne State squandered a 14-point second half lead as it was upset in the final seconds 57-56 at Ashland.
Following back-to-back turnovers by the Warriors (13-4, 9-2 GLIAC), the Eagles’ Ronnie Steward hit the game-winning basket when he drove and connected from inside the lane with 11.2 seconds left.
On the other end, Bryan Smothers had two attempts to answer but both shots failed to fall.
With the exception of Wayne State’s Mike Hollingsworth and Ashland’s Kale Richardson, both teams struggled to get anything going offensively. The visitors shot 36.8 percent from the field as the hosts hit 46.5 percent.
Hollingsworth led with game-high totals in points (25) and rebounds (12), while Richardson carried the Eagles (9-8, 3-7 GLIAC) with 24 points and 10 boards. Hollingsworth’s performance marked the seventh time in the last 10 games that he has hit the 20-point plateau.
A lay-up from Richardson at the 16:26 mark of the second half pulled his team within 34-32. It would be the Eagles’ last field goal for the next 9:25.
Wayne State gained its largest lead at 47-33 with 9:09 remaining on a pair of free throws from Jerry Oden.
After trading baskets, Hollingsworth pushed the WSU lead to 50-37 on pair of free throws with 6:31 to go. Unfortunately, the Eagles took control from there, scoring 20 of the games last 26 points. The Warriors managed only three field goals in the final 10:44 of the contest and wound up committing 14 of their 18 turnovers in the second half.
Richardson’s triple with 9:18 left in the first 20 minutes gave the Eagles their biggest advantage, however the Warriors would close the half on a 16-9 run to take a 26-24 into the half.