USF wins nail-biter over Wayne State 81-79


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (USF) — Matt Cartwright scored 32 points, including hitting the game-winning shot with 6.2 seconds left, to rally the University of Sioux Falls Men’s Basketball Team (5-4, 1-2 NSIC) to a gritty come-from-behind win over Wayne State (5-4, 2-1 NSIC) on Saturday at the Stewart Center.

“These guys made plays when they counted and showed tremendous grit in earning a victory today over a tough Wayne State team,” said USF Head Coach Chris Johnson, who registered his 245th career win. “Without Jack Thompson today, we received a great game from Matt (Cartwright) and solid play from Jake Kettner and Cedric Johnson at the point plus really gritty and tough play inside from Wesley Oba, Chase Grinde and others,” said Johnson, whose team will host Upper Iowa on Friday, Dec. 10 and Winona State on Saturday, Dec. 11. “We had so many contributions up and down the roster. It was a really nice bounce back win for this group,” he said.

With the victory, USF won for the 15th time in 31 games with Wayne State and its sixth win in the last seven meetings between the two schools

It was quite a day for Cartwright, who not only had his first 30-point game at USF, but his season-high total of 32 points pushed him past 1,000 points for his career and sits at 1,006. Cartwright, who scored 17 points in the first half, helped USF rally from down, 54-40 at the 15:42 mark of the second half, to earn a win and end a two-game slide. Cartwright hit 13-of-19 field goals, including 2-of-6 from three-point range and 4-of-5 at the foul line, He added four rebounds and had a block and steal. He now has 45 career games of double-digit points with his 12th game of 20 points or more.

Forward Wesley Oba continued to play well in the middle with his second straight double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Oba also had two blocks and two steals while hitting a triple in two attempts. In his first start at USF, Cedric Johnson came up big with his high at USF of 14 points while adding eight rebounds, five assists, a steal and block to his total. Chase Grinde had 10 points, five rebounds and led USF with six assists. For Grinde, he now has 39 career double-digit scoring games. Despite being hampered by fouls, Jake Kettner had nine points and three rebounds.

In the second half, Kettner hammered home a pair of triples to key a USF comeback. USF, which trailed, 42-to-37 at halftime, outscored WSC, 41-to-25 over the final 14:18 to earn the win. In a game with eight lead changes and six ties, USF used a 17-of-12 advantage in second chance points and a 17-to-12 margin in points off turnovers to earn its first NSIC win of the season.

The Cougars, which had a 36-to-25 rebound edge, hit 31-of-60 field goals for 51.7 percent and made 7-of-21 from three-point range while connecting on 12-of-17 foul shots. The Cougars shared the basketball as they had 20 assists on their 31 made baskets.

The Wildcats, which had 29 points from Justin Eagins and 23 points and eight rebounds from Jordan Janssen, hit 31-of-57 from the field for 54.4 percent and was 8-of-17 from three-point range. WSC hit 9-of-14 foul shots.

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