On-deck: Winona State basketball doubleheader v. Upper Iowa
The Winona State men’s and women’s basketball teams will host Upper Iowa in an NSIC doubleheader on Saturday at McCown Gymnasium, and you can catch both games on HBC.
The WSU women (12-0, 5-0) have climbed to the No. 9 spot in the national rankings, and will look to continue their scintillating play to begin the season.
Since conference play began, the Warriors have an average margin of victory of 26.4 points over five games. Tara Roelofs scored a career-high 29 points last Saturday in a defeat of Minnesota State, while Kayla Timmerman finished with a game-high nine rebounds to go along with seven points, three assists and two blocks.
Connor Nagle pitched in 14 points and three steals in the win, and Alexis Foley added 10 points and three assists for Scott Ballard’s club.
Winona State has been demon-like defensively throughout the year, allowing just 53.6 points per game and limited opponents to a paltry 34.1 shooting percentage from the floor.
WSU are outrebounding its opposition by eight boards per game (39.9 to 31.8) and continue phenomenal free throw shooting at 84.4 percent (157-for-186) as a team.
The Warriors have four players — Roelofs (16.7), Foley (13.5), Timmerman (11.7) and Nagle (10.7) — who average more than 10 points per game, with Timmerman (6.5) and Hannah McGlone (5.8) pulling down 12.3 rebounds per game, while Nagle (3.7) and Foley (3.5) go for 7.2 assists each time they hit the floor.
Upper Iowa (3-8, 2-3) won its last game its last game at Concordia-St. Paul on December 12, but have been outscored, outrebounded and committed more turnovers than its opponents this season.
The Peacocks are 14th in the league for scoring (62.5) and scoring defense (74.2), but are led by a pair of players having solid seasons.
Aleesha Cleaver leads Upper Iowa in scoring (14.7) and assists (2.2), while Whitney Kleffer accounts for 13 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 88.1 percent (52-for-59) from the free throw line.
The Winona State men (4-5, 3-2) had their three-game winning streak snapped after a furious second half comeback fell just short in a 78-77 loss at Minnesota State last Saturday.
WSU found itself down 20 points with nine minutes to play, but came up one point shy of forcing overtime.
Riley Bambenek delivered game highs for points (20) and rebounds (9) and knocked down six of his eight attempts from 3-point range.
Kyle Bauman contributed 18 points and seven boards, while Corey Jeffs finished with 12 points and five rebounds and Mark Blacklock and Josh Mongan each scored eight.
Bauman paces the team in scoring at 14.1 points per game, and is shooting 9-for-12 from beyond the arc (75 percent) to go along with 5.4 rebounds per game. The junior forward is closely followed by Bambenek’s 12.3 and Blacklock’s 10.1 points per, with Blacklock also accounting for 4.8 boards per game. Mongan averages 3.2 assists for Todd Eisner’s squad.
Upper Iowa (6-8, 2-3) are 2-1 on the road for the season and lost its last contest against Wisconsin-Parkside 74-71 on December 15.
Jimmy Roth leads the Peacocks in scoring at 12 points per game, followed by Josh Weeber (11.1) and Luke Lenhart (10.5). Weeber and Lenhart have combined to shoot 41.4 percent from 3-point range on the year (53-for-128).
Carson Parker tops UIU with 5.2 rebounds per, and has been fantastic from the free throw line, making 35 of 39 attempts (89.7 percent).
Upper Iowa defeated Winona State 79-74 to open NSIC play on November 28.
Pregame for the women’s game gets underway at 1:45, with the men’s game scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., only on TV 25!