Men’s basketball winning streak ends

Winona+State+University%E2%80%99s+Men%E2%80%99s+Basketball+players+Alec+Rosner+%285%29+and+Owen+King+%2810%29+during+Jan.+29%2C+2022%E2%80%99s+game+against+University+of+Mary.

Carolyn Hauschild

Winona State University’s Men’s Basketball players Alec Rosner (5) and Owen King (10) during Jan. 29, 2022’s game against University of Mary.

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, sports editor

Winona State University’s Men’s Basketball ended their winning streak when they hit the road this weekend against Augustana University on Friday and Wayne State on Saturday.

After a 9-15 history against Augustana, the 11 ranked team, the team knew that they had to bring their A-game and they fought hard on Friday.

“Winning three in a row has been great, but definitely have our work cut out for us this weekend with Augustana and Wayne,” Third-year Luke Martens said. “Two very good teams in the south that have been playing really well this year.”

The Warrior’s history with Wayne State is similar as the record sits at 8-15.

Friday night’s game started off strong as after the first ten minutes, the Vikings were only two points ahead. This set the trajectory for the rest of the game as the Warriors fought hard to keep up.

As the first half continued, Winona struggled in three pointers as they scored 36 points from inside the line and had a 3 for 11 success rate outside. Augustana was ahead in this aspect as they doubled Winona State’s foul line throws and hit 8 out of 13 free throws compared to Winona State’s 4 out of 7.

Defensively the team excelled causing them to close the gap so much and almost win the match up with a final score of 64-60.

The star player of the game was Luke Martens who managed a career best of 22 points for the Warriors, including being 9 of 19 from the field, 2 for 8 from behind the arc and a perfect 2 for 2 from the foul line.

Shortly behind was first-year Connor Drew at 11 points, fourth-year Devin Whitelow at seven assists and Alec Rosner had eight rebounds for his second highest season total.

“Every year my favorite part of basketball has been getting really close to my teammates,” Luke Martens said as he reflected on the four years he’s been at Winona State. “They make the game of basketball really fun for me to be around.”

On Saturday the Warriors played the Wildcats who had also lost against a nationally ranked team (19 Upper Iowa) the night before.

The Warriors had 16 for 16 at the free throw line with Alec Rosner, Carson Arenz, Drew Adams and Connor Drew all shooting perfectly. Past that though, it was a tough matchup offensively as the team shot only 32.1% from the floor in game and 22.7% from behind the three-point line.

“As I get older, I hope the team can rely on me more and more each year to produce for the team in any way they need me to,” Arenz said about his role on the team. “If that’s from knocking down shots, or being a spark for the team defensively, or making all the hustle plays.”

Arenz is from Onalaska, where he was a WBCA Division II All-Star and earned AP All-State Honorable mention honors as a senior as well as led his team to an MVC league title.

During his COVID-19 season last year which didn’t count for eligibility, he appeared in nine games and scored two points against Upper Iowa University. So far this season Arenz has scored 68 points and counting.

Carson chose Winona State because his brother played here from 2013-2016 after transferring from University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. His brother, Nick Arenz, was named NSIC All-Academic two years in a row (2014-15 and 2015-16). His twin sister also plays Women’s Basketball at University of Wisconsin – Stout.

Winona State held the lead at 33- 29 for a minute until the Wildcats forced 14 turnovers to result in 19 points, leading to a loss at 76-55.

Leading in points was Rosner with 12 followed by Martens with eight and nine rebounds.

Next weekend the Warriors return home to play University of Sioux Falls on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022 and Southwest Minnesota State University on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at McCown gymnasium.