Release courtesy of Jeff Weiss, WSU Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — The Wayne State University men’s basketball team (22-7 overall) won its first GLIAC tournament title since 1999 with a last second 73-71 triumph at Ferris State University (22-7 overall) Sunday afternoon.
Hollingsworth was named to the
GLIAC All-Tournament team along with Findlay’s Nathan Hyde,
Michigan Tech’s Ali Haidar, and Ferris State’s Justin
Keenan and Darien Gay. WSU senior guard Bryan
Smothers (Pontiac, Mich./Northern) was voted to the
tournament’s Most Valuable Player after scoring 51 points in
Wayne State’s three post-season victories.
The first half was a see-saw affair with four lead changes and five tied scores. WSU had the largest advantage (8, 32-24) with 4:11 left, but FSU closed the opening 20 minutes on an 11-4 run.
Seven different players scored for the Warriors before intermission led by eight each from Hollingsworth and senior forward Jerry Oden (Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech). WSU shot 53 percent (16-of-30) from the floor while limiting FSU to 36 percent (10-of-28). Keenan had 10 points but was just 2-of-7 from the field.
Wayne State tallied the first five points of the second half with junior guard Dale Brundidge (Southfield, Mich./Detroit Country Day) hitting a jumper and adding a pair of foul shots. A Hollingsworth jumper on an in-bounds play at the 16:40 mark gave the Warriors an eight point lead (45-37).
WSU’s lead remained between six and eight points until an 8-2 Bulldog run cut the visitors advantage to two (51-49) with 12:51 remaining.
Wayne State’s lead was between two and five points for the next four minutes until junior guard Stacey Waters (Detroit, Mich./Renaissance) drained a long triple just as the shot clock was about to expire pushing the lead to six (61-55) with 8:46 left.
FSU responded with a 7-0 spurt to take its first lead since 16-15. After a Hollingsworth free throw tied the game at 62, Keenan made a pair of foul shots. Hollingsworth answered at the other end with a jumper in the paint. Two more Keenan free throws preceded a triple by Hollingsworth with 2:41 left. Keenan went to the foul line again and split a pair to tie the game at 67 with 2:16 remaining.
Hollingsworth went to the foul line as Matt DeHart was whistled for an over-the-back call on Keenan’s missed free throw. Hollingsworth sank both shots from the charity stripe to put the Warriors ahead 69-67 also at the 2:16 mark as the clock did not move on the missed free throw by FSU. A jumper by Brown with 59.6 seconds left tied the game at 69.
Brundidge’s lay-up regained the WSU lead at the 25.7 mark. Keenan answered at the other end with exactly 10.0 seconds remaining setting up the final sequences.
FSU only made three field goals in the final seven minutes, meanwhile Hollingsworth tallied 10 of WSU’s final 12 points.
Hollingsworth finished with a team-high 22 points and a game-best 15 rebounds. Smothers contributed 11 points and nine assists.
Keenan led all scorers with 25 points (6-15 FG, 13-17 FT) as he attempted just three free throws less than the Warriors squad.
Wayne State will learn of its NCAA seeding tonight at 10 p.m. as the selection show will be aired on NCAA.com.