Men’s basketball loses to Wayne State in close game

Winona+State+junior%2C+Owen+king+attempts+a+shot+for+a+3-pointer+against+Wayne+State%2C+at+the+second+game+of+the+weekend+on+Saturday%2C+Jan.+30.+Warriors+lost+84-78+against+Wayne+State

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Winona State junior, Owen king attempts a shot for a 3-pointer against Wayne State, at the second game of the weekend on Saturday, Jan. 30. Warriors lost 84-78 against Wayne State

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, Sports Reporter

The Winona State Warriors men’s basketball team lost to Wayne State in a close game of 58-57 on Friday, Jan. 29.

The two teams are comparable as far as statistics so far this season, with Wayne State being 5-4 and Winona State being 3-3.

Winona State Assistant Coach Zachary Malvik reflected on the game and what they will improve on for next weekend, as well as the challenges of a unique season.

“I think after this weekend’s games we will watch the film and see we have a lot to improve on,” Malvik said. “On both ends of the floor we need to be much better and much tougher.”

After a second lackluster game against Wayne State on Saturday where the Warriors lost 84-78, the team will have much to reflect on before their weekend series against Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Senior Kevion Taylor led both games with 22 points on Friday and 21 points on Saturday. Taylor said they needed to stay positive about this weekend’s games.

“The best thing about this league is you get a chance to bounce back the next day and try to even it up to be one and one on the weekend,” Taylor said. “I know we will bounce back, but this loss hurts us a lot and puts us in a tough position for the playoffs.”

As a senior, Taylor said the losses this weekend hurt him greatly as his last season progresses in unfamiliar times.

Taylor acknowledged that the Wildcats played well and wanted it more than them [the Warriors], making it a frustrating loss.

“Tonight’s game was very up and down, and probably one of the most frustrating losses in a while,” Taylor said. “They [Wayne State] played harder and wanted it more than us tonight.”

Having a season in the middle of a pandemic is difficult but both Taylor and Malvik said the team is doing phenomenal in adapting to all the changes thrown their way this season.

Malvik said the first year students especially have a unique experience that they are using to their benefit as they improve and adapt.

“We have a number of guys that are really determined and spend a lot of time working on their game, that will continue to keep improving and make a big impact for us going forward,” Malvik said.

As a predominately fourth- and first-year student team, this is a crucial season for the first-year players to learn about the dynamic of college sports and what they can improve on both individually and as a team.

Taylor said while the team works together for a common goal, the players need to focus on working together as a team.

“All of our guys want it and we just have to go out and prove it and show it on a daily basis,” Taylor said. “Today I just didn’t feel like we were all on the same page offensively.”

As the team reflects on a hard weekend for basketball, they hope for a comeback against the Mavericks this coming weekend.

The Mavericks are another comparable team as their matchup last season ended 79-72 with a win for the Warriors.

Winona State junior, Owen king attempts a shot for a 3-pointer against Wayne State, at the second game of the weekend on Saturday, Jan. 30. Warriors lost 84-78 against Wayne State (Natalie Tyler)