by CLARA KUERSCHNER
From the Winonan, WSU’s student newspaper
While most students were home for the holidays last weekend, the Winona State University men’s basketball team was hard at work. They played against Saint Mary’s University, on Tuesday, November 20, at home.
With only two days of practice between their game on Thursday, November 16, and Tuesday’s game, head coach Todd Eisner had the men working to improve some fundamentals of their game both offensively and defensively.
“Our effort in the three regular-season games has been very good. If we can be consistent and committed to doing that each game, our chances to have success will increase,” Eisner said about the strengths of the team thus far.
The team’s effort proved to be a reliable strength against St. Mary’s with the Warriors winning 100-61. The triple digit score is a record not reached by the Warriors since the 2010 season.
The first half of the game was a hard-fought battle between the Warriors and the Cardinals, ending with the Cardinals up 47-46. In the first two minutes of the second half, senior Corey Jeffs and first-year Kevion Taylor scored a combined four points to regain the Warrior lead, which they kept for the remainder of the game.
Juniors Connor Flack and Mason Domask, first-years Isaiah Easaw, Dalante Peyton and Jeffs all personally scored in the double digits. Jeffs scored 27 points throughout the game, ending two points shy of a career high, but setting a personal season record. The end of this game made the Warriors undefeated at home.
The men’s team was able to spend a few days at home with friends and family before meeting up to hit the road to Fayette, Iowa, to play against Upper Iowa University. This game marked the beginning of their NSIC season.
“We started two [first-year] in the game Thursday so Tuesday was a great opportunity for them to get experience prior to the NSIC games,” coach Eisner said about making improvements as a team.
With the end of first half against Upper Iowa, the Warriors found themselves trailing 35-32. The 20 minutes to recuperate during half time gave the team some needed endurance to fight for the lead. As in the game against St. Mary’s, the first six minutes of the second half gave the men’s basketball team the window of opportunity to outscore the Peacocks 22-9. The game ended with a Warrior win, 90-80, giving the team a three-game winning streak and their fourth season win.
Junior Charlie Koontz was welcomed back to the floor after recovering from torn ligaments in his ankle earlier in the season. Koontz scored in the double digits along with Domask, junior Tommy Gathje and first-years Devin Whitelow and Kevion Taylor.
The next two Warrior basketball games will be away but the team returns home on Friday, December 8, against rival Minnesota State University, Mankato, at 8 p.m.