by SYDNEY MOHR
From The Winonan,
WSU’s student newspaper
Winona State University men’s basketball took on University of Minnesota-Moorhead on Friday, February 2 in McCown Gymnasium, snatching a win with a score of 93-78. The men were supposed to start their game at 8 p.m. as the second part of the doubleheader against Moorhead, but due to the four overtimes that the women’s game went into beforehand, the men’s game didn’t start until nearly an hour later.
Sophomore Caleb Wagner led in scoring for the night with a career-high of 25 points. The Warriors, who are currently 16-7 in conference including tournament play, have won nine straight games on their home court.
“Twelve of our last fifteen overall games were wins, and since the start of the new year we are 7-1 (now 8-1),” Coach Todd Eisner said. “I am very hopeful to see where these men go through the rest of the season, as I know that they will succeed.”
This game was a record breaker for the Warriors, with the point total the highest in a conference game this season. Their second best was at least a 15-point margin away, according to previous game records. The game achieved a season-high of 29 assists with just four turnovers in one of the top offensive performances of the year.
“The team has just been great this semester,” Wagner said. “We have been full of energy and have been connecting really well on and off the court.”
The Warriors took the court Friday night with roars of noise from both the athletes and the fans. The Warriors played aggressively and with passion.
Junior Tommy Gathje scored 15 of his 21 points within the first half of the game, and the Warriors went into the second half with a lead of 49-29. They quickly picked up where they left off by scoring 32 more points with 15:57 left in the second. There were a few moments within the second half of the game where the Warriors led by as many as 32 points over Moorhead, but by the end of the game they chipped the score down to under a 20-point lead by the Warriors.
Along with the double header for basketball, Friday night found McCown gym to be bustling. There was the Game Day Experience beforehand complete with inflatables and booths from local businesses and clubs, as well as a booth for Think Pink, selling shirts promoted by athletic clubs to raise money for Breast Cancer. Colleges Against Cancer sponsored both games by hosting Coaches vs. Cancer, and gifted a local boy named Liam Schroeder with tickets to a Timberwolves game, courtesy of the American Cancer Society and the Timberwolves Basketball Team.
There were also many Warrior athletes recognized for their hard work in academics during halftime for the National Collegiate Athletics Awards. From football players to gymnasts, athletes from all programs were recognized for their hard work and dedication to their education.
After Friday’s win, Winona State faced Northern State University on Saturday, February 3 at 6 p.m. at home in McCown Gym and lost 64-82. The Warriors now sit at 16-8 for the season.
They will be facing Concordia University, St. Paul, on Friday, February 9 at 8 p.m. in St. Paul, Minnesota.