Tonight: NSIC Tournament doubleheader for WSU basketball
The Winona State basketball teams will take the floor for the opening round of the NSIC / Sanford Health Tournament as the No. 8 women host Bemidji State and the men will square off with Minot State on Wednesday.
The top-seeded WSU women (27-2, 20-2) have won 11 in a row and dropped just one of 15 home games during the regular season.
The Warriors thoroughly dominated the league en route to their first NSIC regular season crown, leading the conference for scoring defense (54.6 points per game), scoring margin (19.4), free throw percentage (79.7), field goal percentage (45.4) and defensive field goal percentage (34.1). Winona State also ranked second for scoring offense (74) and 3-point field goal percentage (39.7).
It wasn’t just the team that stood out statistically, however. Hannah McGlone paced the NSIC by shooting 57.5 percent from the floor, Tara Roelofs led the conference with a 95.1 free throw percentage and Kayla Timmerman sat atop the blocked shots list with 87 a school-record swats. Connor Nagle, who has been named NSIC South Player of the Week three weeks running, finished second in the conference by splashing 98 3-pointers.
Alexis Foley led Winona State in scoring at 14.4 points, followed by Nagle with 12.8, Roelofs at 12.6 and Timmerman delivered 12.3 per. Foley, Nagle and Roelofs also combined to shoot 42.4 (187-for-441) from beyond the arc.
Timmerman also accounted for 7.5 rebounds, with McGlone right behind her at 7.3 each contest.
Bemidji State (7-19, 3-19) will enter play on a six-game losing skid, and finished the regular season 0-11 on the road. WSU defeated BSU 65-56 in the teams’ lone match-up on January 29.
Pregame for Bemidji State and the Warriors women begins at 5:45, with tip-off at 6 p.m..
The Winona State men’s team won seven of its last nine to secure the third seed in the NSIC South, and are playing its best basketball of the season as the tournament looms.
WSU (14-12, 13-9) ousted Wayne State 75-62 on February 19 behind 15 points from both Conrad Masberg and Isaiah Gray. Riley Bambenek added 13 and Kyle Bauman finished with 11, while Charlie Koontz led the team with eight rebounds.
The Warriors had the top scoring defense in the NSIC during the regular season (69.1 points per game) and shot 37.3 percent from 3-point range as a team.
Bauman led the squad with 14.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, while Bambenek accounted for 11.7 points and 3.1 assists per. Mark Blacklock had a solid season with 9.6 points and five boards each time out and Josh Mongan dished out 2.4 assists per. Gray averaged 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
Minot State (15-13, 10-12) have won four in a row and registered a 63-46 win over Winona State on January 16.
The men’s game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, only on TV 25.