Wayne State edged Detroit Mercy, 79-77, in a frantic finish Saturday night at Calihan Hall in the men's basketball teams' final preseason tune-up.
But the outcome in the charity exhibition, dubbed the City College Series, wasn't nearly as important as its purpose. The event helped raise over $10,000 — more than $5,000 in ticket sales with a matching donation from Michigan First Credit Union — for the Detroit Public Schools, grades K-5.
Last year's inaugural game raised roughly $8,000.
In addition to raising money for a good cause, the 3,089 fans in attendance were treated to a back-and-forth game that featured three lead changes in the final minute.
After a putback by Latin Davis (21 points, nine rebounds) gave Wayne State a 76-75 lead with 43 seconds left, Detroit Mercy answered right back with a Jermaine Jackson Jr. layup to reclaim a one-point lead.
Wayne State countered with a dunk from Marcus Moore for a 78-77 edge with 15.8 seconds remaining and forced a turnover in the final 10 seconds.
Darian Owens-White split a pair of free throws to give Wayne State a two-point advantage with 6.7 seconds. That left enough time for one final Detroit Mercy possession, but Jackson's shot at the buzzer misfired.
Ronald Booth led Wayne State with 27 points, while Jackson finished with 19 points and Kameron Chatman scored 10 for Detroit Mercy.
Wayne State will host the GLIAC/G-MAC Challenge on Nov. 11-12, with games against Alderson Broaddus and Kentucky Wesleyan. Detroit Mercy will open the season Nov. 10 at Virginia Tech.