Warriors fend off Beavers for 3rd straight win


Winona State University men’s basketball improved to 9-2 on its home court inside McCown Gymnasium and has won seven of its last nine games overall as the Warriors held off Bemidji State in the waning minutes of Saturday’s contest for an 82-74 triumph.

The Warriors shot a torrid 57 percent in the opening half, including an 8-16 effort from downtown to build a 10-point halftime lead and never trailed in the second half despite the Beavers’ late push.

Winona State improves to 10-8 overall (7-5 NSIC) while sending BSU to a record of 8-8 (5-7 NSIC).

As the Warriors live and die by the three-point shot, it was a pair of triples over the final three minutes of action that helped secure the win.

First, Andrea Lo Biondo connect from beyond the arc on an assist by Caleb Wagner after the senior had chased down a timely offensive rebound to extend WSU’s possession following a triple by the Beavers to cut the Warrior lead to 67-74. Then, Alec Rosner sunk the dagger from downtown with 45 seconds remaining as Bemidji State was once again knocking on the door, trailing by just eight points.

For the second straight night, Kevion Taylor had a huge first half, pouring in 20 of his 22 points in the opening frame, including a three-pointer before the break that sent WSU into the locker room with a 46-36 advantage. And, true to Friday’s storyline, Wagner stepped up in the second half with 16 of his game-high 25 points in the final frame.

Taylor and Wagner combined to go 7-13 from three-point land in the win.

Rosner added 13 points for the home team while knocking down two of his three attempts from downtown. Luke Martens chipped in nine points, two rebounds and one assist in 23 minutes off the bench.

Led by Wagner (4), Winona State dished out 14 assists while committing just two turnovers in the affair.

With the conclusion of their four-game homestand behind them, the Warriors hit the road next weekend for games at Southwest Minnesota State and Sioux Falls on January 24-25.


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