WSU Men Split Home Series
From WSU Sports Information –
WINONA, Minn. – Minot State University did not look like the second-to-last scoring offense in the NSIC Friday night inside McCown Gymnasium where the Beavers shot a blistering 64 percent from the field en route to an 87-72 victory over Winona State University. The Beavers also shot 50 percent from beyond the arc while surpassing their season scoring average by 15 points against a traditionally stout Warrior defense.
After being gouged for at least 80 points for the second straight game, Winona State falls to 10-13 (7-10 NSIC) while Minot State improves to 11-15 (6-11 NSIC) with just its second road win of the year.
The Warriors opened up a 7-0 advantage after tip off, but the home team’s lead was gone in the blink of an eye following a Beaver timeout at the 18:01 mark of the first half. Minot State answered with a 17-2 run over the next five minutes of play. WSU began to erase an eight-point deficit at the 7:50 mark when Caleb Wagner drilled a three-pointer. Kevion Taylor connected on a triple of his own and two possessions later, Mason Domask sank one from downtown to give the Warriors a 30-29 edge with 6:06 left in the frame.
The teams continued to trade baskets as both sides shot over 50 percent in the first half of action, but Domask’s bucket stood as the final Winona State lead of the game.
Minot led by double digits for the better part of the second half as the Warrior defense was unable to make a series of stops to allow the offense to get back into the game. Offensively, Winona State slowed to a 39 percent clip in the second half as the Beavers continued to torch the nets.
Entering the game as one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league, Minot State hit big shots from downtown all night when David Akibo wasn’t owning the lane. The Beaver center recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds as the visiting team gashed WSU for 50 points in the paint. The Beavers also owned a 34-22 rebounding edge while out-muscling the Warriors in the post.
One night removed from having their defense picked apart, the Winona State University men blew the doors of the third-ranked defense in the NSIC with an 84-56 victory over the University of Mary in McCown Gymnasium.
Senior Mason Domask and junior Caleb Wagner were perfect from beyond the arc in seven attempts on a night that the Warriors shot 91 percent from downtown in the first half en route to their largest margin of victory in a conference game this season.
Winona State and UMary each conclude the night with records of 11-13 (8-10 NSIC) as the postseason tournament looms in just three weeks. The triumph snaps a brief two-game skid for WSU as the Warriors have won six of their last nine overall.
In the Warriors’ final regular season matchup with an NSIC North foe, Devin Whitelow opened the scoring with a three-pointer only to see Mary’s Tom Kubank hit back-to-back triples for a 6-5 Marauder lead at the 17:53 mark. That stood as the final team the visiting team led on the scoreboard.
Winona State knocked down each of its first six three-point attempts, failing to miss until the 5:42 mark when the Warriors owned a slight 25-20 lead. That miss sparked an 18-3 WSU run into halftime as the home team drilled four more treys to finish the first half 10-for-11 from downtown while carrying a 43-23 advantage into the locker room.
Domask, Wagner, Whitelow and Kevion Taylor were each perfect from long range over the first 20 minutes of action.
While the Warriors torrid three-point barrage cooled some in the second half, the outcome was never in doubt as WSU led by at least 20 points for the final 16 minutes of play. Winona State led by as many as 36 points on four different occasions in the second frame.
The Warriors ended the night shooting 54 percent from beyond the arc and improve to 7-0 when connecting on at least 13 three-pointers in a ballgame.
Senior Tommy Gathje got in on the three-point parade during the second half and finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the year.
Winona State embarks on its final road trip of the regular season next weekend with stops in Sioux Falls and SMSU scheduled for February 15-16.