Peacocks Topple Warriors With A Season-High Performance

There were several storylines to follow at McCown Gymnasium on December 19, but only one team felt like celebrating at the end of the game.

It was not the Winona State Warrior Men’s Basketball team.  Upper Iowa came away with a 95-82 win over Winona State.

During the game, Kyle Bauman and Isaiah Gray became the latest members of the 1000 Career Points Club – the 37th and 38th members of the club, respectively, while Sophomore Tommy Gathje set his career high single-game point total for the third time against the Peacocks, and the second time in three days.

Last season, Gathje scored 11 points in the Warriors road game against Upper Iowa.  On Dec. 17 in Fayette, Gathje again eclipsed his best single-game performance, with 14 points.  On Dec. 19th, Gathje scored 21 points, and pulled down a career high 11 rebounds for his first Collegiate double-double.  Likely, though, he would have traded his big night for a win, or maybe for a different situation to get his points and rebounds.

Gathje, who averaged about 16 minutes a game this season, saw 35 minutes of action, because of an injury to Senior Kyle Bauman.  With a little over 5 and a half minutes left in the first half, Bauman, going for a basket, landed on the foot of Upper Iowa’s Jordan Hay, and appeared to roll his ankle.  Bauman would later use crutches to get to the locker room, and used crutches to get back to the bench in the second half, as he would watch the rest of the game with ice on his ankle.  That would leave WSU with just 3 bench players for the rest of the game, as Charlie Koontz and Connor Flack both missed the game with injuries.

However, all of the above should not overshadow a tough, gritty performance from Upper Iowa.  The Peacocks clawed their way back, recovering from a 10-point deficit early in the first half.

Carson Parker led the way for Upper Iowa, with 33 points – the most scored in a game by the Peacocks this season.  Parker was 11-14 from the field, and 7-9 from the 3-point line.  Parker also had 8 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal.  Four other Peacocks finished in double-figure scoring.  Luke Lenhart had 14, Jimmy Roth and Josh Weeber had 13 points, and Kam Rowan contributed 10.

Three other Warriors joined Gathje in double-digit scoring.  Riley Bambenek had 18, while Corey Jeffs had 15 points and 9 rebounds, and Isaiah Gray had 15 points and 6 rebounds.

The Warriors now have 3 active members of the 1000 Point Club on the same team for the first time since 2007.

With the win, Upper Iowa improves to 5-1 in the NSIC, and 8-4 overall.  With the loss, the Warriors are 2-4 in the NSIC (winless at home in Conference play), and 5-5 overall.

The Warriors will close out play in 2016 with a pair of home games on December 30 & 31.  WSU will take on Minnesota Crookston at 8 pm on the 30th, and Bemidji State at 6 pm on the 31st.  You can watch both of those games live on HBC TV 25, HD Channel 525 or 1025.

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