After falling to Wayne State College last Saturday, some last-minute heroics pushed the Winona State University (WSU) men’s basketball team past Augustana University in a double-overtime thriller on Sunday. The Warriors’ Luke Martens hit a pair of crucial three-pointers: one at the end of regulation to tie the game and another at the end of double overtime to win it.
Winona State was lackluster in the first half, going just 6-for-24 on field goals and 2-for-11 on three-pointers. The Warriors trailed Augustana 25-18 going into the break, and Augustana extended its lead to 18 points early in the second. But midway through the second half, Martens scored five unanswered points to jumpstart a WSU rally, and after their cold start, the Warriors more than doubled their shooting percentage in the second half, knocking down 58 percent of their field goal attempts. Kelley James, Connor Dillon, Connor Drew, and Declan Dillon all chipped in and chipped away at the Vikings’ lead.
A layup by Connor Dillon put the Warriors within one with just over a minute to play. A subsequent jumper gave Augustana a three-point lead, but with 42 seconds left, Martens sunk a three-point try to tie the game, and WSU’s defense held on to force overtime.
The Warriors got ahead early in the first overtime, but some foul trouble and a timely three-pointer by the Vikings’ Isaac Fink left the two teams tied again and headed for another round of overtime.
The second overtime was a battle of free throws — and fouls — that was perfectly matched until a defensive rebound by Kelley turned into a scoring chance, and Martens nailed a game-winning three-pointer with one second left.
Martens scored 31 points on the night while Connor Dillon and Drew Connor put up 14 and 10, respectively. Kelley had a season-high 15 rebounds.
It was WSU’s second conference victory of the season after a number of narrow losses earlier this month, and it gives the Warriors a 7-5 record overall (2-5 conference). Augustana fell to 7-6 overall (3-4 conference).
Next up, the Warriors have a rematch with Upper Iowa University on December 31 in Iowa. WSU lost the two teams’ last matchup by one point. The Warriors’ next home game is on January 6 at 7:30 p.m. against the University of Minnesota Crookston.