by MAURICE HUDSON
From The Winonan, WSU’s student newspaper
Coming off a win on Tuesday, November 26, against the Viterbo University V-Hawks 75-66, the Winona State University men’s basketball faced the Upper Iowa Peacocks on Saturday, November 30, hoping to do the same.
Unfortunately, junior Kevion Taylor’s 25 points and 17 rebounds weren’t enough as the Peacocks bested the Warriors 84-79 in the outing.
This was supported by senior Caleb Wagner’s 19 points in the defeat. Sophomores Alec Rosner and Luke Martens combined for 23 points in addition the outing.
Winona State fell to 3-4 (0-1 NSIC) after its three-game winning streak snapped.
After shooting 3-for-15 beyond the arc and putting up only 33 points to the Peacocks’ 43 in the first half, the Warriors started gaining their shots back. This helped to push the Warriors to a nine-point lead halfway through the second half.
Wagner especially focused on the team’s three-point shooting in the first half. “It’s something that we needed to change going into the second half to change the outcome of the game,” Wagner said.
Upper Iowa gained a 18-3 advantage on fast break points and etched 14 points off six Warrior turnovers.
Despite the Warriors going into halftime with a 10-point deficit, the game was fairly “back and forth” with five lead changes until the Peacocks went on an 8-2 run to close out the half.
The game continued into the second half with the Warriors and Peacocks trading baskets until Winona State established a run. The Warriors used a 14-2 run that Wagner capped with a three-pointer at the nine-minute mark to take a 70-62 affair. Taylor knocked down three 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions during that stretch to give the Warriors confidence through a lead heading to the home stretch.
Upper Iowa locked in and minimized the deficit over the next four minutes, gaining the lead for the rest of the game at the five-minute mark.
From there, the Warriors were held to just three field goals, including a last-second basket, as the Peacocks hit a handful of clutch shots late to hold on for the win.
Winona State returns to the road next weekend with a pair of conference games beginning on Saturday, Dececember 7, at Augustana.