The SVSU men’s basketball team rounded out its winter break schedule this past weekend, finishing 4-3 over the stretch of games.
On Thursday, Jan. 11, the team fell to Wayne State on the road, 74-57, before winning a thrilling contest at home against Davenport on Saturday, Jan. 13.
Against Wayne State, SVSU traveled to Detroit to take on the Warriors and fell short after being outscored 41-28 in the second half. The Cardinals played close with Wayne State in the first half, trailing just 33-29 after the first 20 minutes of play.
However, Wayne State seemed to cause problems for the young Cardinal team in the second half, as it outscored SVSU by 13 points en route to the double-digit victory.
The Warriors only outrebounded SVSU by two boards and missed every three-point shot they attempted (0-13). However, WSU recorded seven blocks and eight steals to SVSU’s five blocks and four steals. Wayne State dominated the turnover battle, only committing 12 turnovers to the Cardinals’ 23.
For SVSU, senior guard Mike Wells Jr. posted a stellar performance against a tough Warriors defense, scoring 22 points, adding three rebounds, one assist and one block and shooting 100 percent from the free throw line. He was the leading scorer for both teams.
Sophomore forward Fred John Jr. recorded a career-high 11 rebounds and also put up 10 points, two blocks and one assist.
Other notable players were redshirt freshman center Sebastiano Lamonato with eight points and two rebounds and freshman guard DJ Hoskins, who put up seven points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Saturday, the Cardinals came back to stun the Davenport Panthers in overtime, 72-69, at home. Davenport held a lead of 35-27 at the half and were up by as many as 11 early in the second half.
However, SVSU clawed back into the game over the final 14 minutes of the second half and took a two-point lead with 11 seconds remaining following a Wells three-pointer. A DU layup with just two seconds remaining, thought, sent the game to overtime.
In the extra period, SVSU again found themselves trailing, 69-67, with just over 30 seconds remaining. But a James Toohey three-pointer gave SVSU a one-point lead late. Davenport frantically tried to add another bucket, but two clutch free throws from sophomore guard Malik Garner extended the Cardinal lead to 72-69 with just eight seconds left to seal the win for SVSU.
Against DU, John Jr. posted another career high in rebounds with 14 and also had eight points and three assists. Wells Jr. put up another 22 points to again lead the team in scoring. Sixteen of those 22 points came in the second half and overtime. Garner also had 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Lamonato added 15 points and five boards in the win.
Saginaw Valley is set to host its next three games, the first of which comes against the Eagles of Ashland University at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18. The Cards also host Tiffin on Saturday, Jan. 20, and Northwood on Saturday, Jan. 27.