Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

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Men’s Basketball: Losing to the underdogs

Pronob Kumar
Basketball match between Winona State and Northern State on Saturday, January 6th, 2024. Winona State athlete Olumide Adelodun had some good free throws after returning from injury. It was an important game to stay on the NSIC table for both teams.

The Winona State University Men’s Basketball team lost to the University of Minnesota, Crookston, the last team of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). After a heartbreaking loss against Northern State University at home, this was the match for their comeback but Minnesota Crookston managed to take the game 77-69 to seal their second victory of the tournament.

In the first half, Winona State had their expected start and took a five-point lead just two minutes into the game. A solid 3-pointer was scored by Devon Fielding with assistance from Connor Dillon.

It was expected that Minnesota Crookston would lose the match by a large margin, but things began to change when they started to make their comeback and reverse the lead. In addition, there were a couple of opportune shots that were just missed by the Warriors which provided a quick lead for the Minnesota Crookston within the first eight minutes.

A couple of substitutions were made by both teams after this point. Winona State made a few quality efforts to turn the match in their favor, but all were stopped by their opponents till the last three minutes of the first half.

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“Every possession was important when it is a close game.” Todd Eisner, Winona State’s head coach said.

The first half ended with a foul from Connor Drew. As a result of that foul, Blaize Sagna of Minnesota Crookston received a free throw, ending the half with a 30-30 score on the board.

The second half began with two missed shots from Winona State. Still, they managed to hold the ball which would allow Drew to rack up two points for them. This lead was unable to be held for long and soon met with two free throws to match the score from Sagna.

“It’s kind of the beginning of all those mental errors that have affected us,” C. Dillon said. “So, if we just clean up games, we should be fine.”

Sagna provided Minnesota Crookston with a few excellent 3-point shots which would help his team to maintain their position in the lead. Winona State attempted to make a comeback, but it would not be enough to drive them into a position to snag the win.

There were a few rough plays also shown by C. Dillon from Winona State and Brock Voigt of the Minnesota Crookston, both teams holding the attitude of perseverance until the end.

Changes in NSIC standings for their opponent were not that significant but resulted in quite the loss for Winona State. Their position dropped from sixth to ninth after the match making their opportunity for qualification for the conference much harder.

The Warriors do not have many home matches left. This is a big issue for any team at a time when they cannot afford to lose any match.

Next week, Winona State will leave home to face the University of Mary on Friday, Jan. 19 and Minot State University on Saturday, Jan. 20. The Warriors will have to win these matches if they want to remain on their hunt for NSIC qualification.

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About the Contributor
Pronob Kumar
Pronob Kumar, Sports Reporter

Pronob Kumar (he/him/his) is a sports reporter for The Winonan and started in the Fall of 2022. He is now a photographer as well. Kumar is currently a second-semester Sophomore at Winona State University majoring in Applied Computer Science and minoring in Mathematics and Physics.

In addition to working for The Winonan, Kumar is also a student employee on the IT Infrastructure team at Winona State University. He is also a tutor at the Library and a teaching assistant at the CS department. He is also the International Orientation Leader at the International Office and Orientation leader for WSU.

Outside of school, Kumar loves to play Chess. He was an under-18 national team chess player in his country. He also likes to cook food and go hiking with his friends. He enjoys drawing pictures and likes to tour different places.

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