Warriors Upend Cardinals In Second Half
Winona State Warrior Men’s Basketball Head Coach Todd Eisner must have given an incredible halftime speech. His Warriors trailed crosstown rival Saint Mary’s by 1 at the Halftime break, but allowed just 14 points in the second half, en route to a 100-61 non-conference win over the Cardinals.
Early on, the Cardinals controlled the pace, and the scoreboard, using accurate 3-point shooting to jump out to a 9-4 lead just under 3 minutes into the game. Sawyer Rosner, James Cullen, Kareem Anthony-Bello and Kristjan Meitz each hit a three-pointer in the first part of the first half, to keep the Cardinals in the game.
Winona State just had to hold on, and bide their time. The Warriors had just 9 players in uniform, and needed to wait until their team got into the flow of the game. Winona State was without starting Center Tommy Gathje, who was out with a back injury. That meant their bench would see a lot of minutes, and Eisner had to find a combination that would equal points.
Connor Flack was the key to that formula, as he put the team on his back, scoring all of his 19 points in the first half, keeping the Warriors in the game.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, used a balanced attack to stay with their Division 2 opponents. Rosner had 11 points at the break, and Cullen added 10. Anthony-Bello and Meitz were just behind with 8 each, as the Cardinals took a 47-46 lead into halftime.
In the second half, both teams looked different. Good for the Warriors, not as good for the Cardinals.
A little over a minute into the second half, Kevion Taylor converted a layup to give the Warriors a 1-point lead. No one knew it at that time, but that would be a lead the Warriors would not give up.
The big blow to Saint Mary’s came roughly 6 minutes into the half, when Kristjan Meitz left the game with an injury. Winona State was on an 8-3 run at the time, but without their Sophomore post, the Cardinals did not have the firepower to make a comeback.
Five Warriors ended the night in double-figures, led by Corey Jeffs, who scored 17 of his 27 points in the second half. Jeffs also had 6 rebounds, and was 4-for-4 from the foul line. Isaiah Easaw had 13, while Mason Domask and Dalante Peyton each had 10.
Saint Mary’s had 2 players in double-digit scoring. James Cullen had 12, and Sawyer Rosner had 11.
The Warriors (3-1) reached the 100-point plateau for the first time since January 14, 2011 when they defeated Minnesota-Crookston 108-68. Winona State will begin NSIC play on November 25th, in a 6pm game against Upper Iowa.
The game against the Warriors was an exhibition game for the Cardinals, and Saint Mary’s (1-1) will get back to regular season action on the 25th at Concordia University-Chicago in an 8pm game.