Winona State University men’s basketball team won both their road games this weekend in North Dakota.
Before the games, junior guard Dalante Peyton said the team still had things to fix.
“I think the biggest thing we need to improve on is to just keep shutting down key players and contain the guys that come off the bench and that are role players,” Peyton said.
The Warriors took on Minot State University in the first contest of the week.
Both teams began sluggish as the first score was not until there were three and a half minutes left in the first half after sophomore guard Alec Rosner hit a three-pointer.
Later on, the Beavers tied the game at 11 with 10:22 left in the first half.
Then, the Warriors would go on a 11-3 run to take an eight-point lead.
Winona State took the 34-27 lead into the half.
From the field the Warriors shot below 40%, but they were able to get it going from three-point range as they made eight of 16 attempts.
The Beavers came out with a three-pointer to begin the second half.
The second half remained even closer than the first as the Beavers took the lead with 12:58 left in regulation.
Junior forward Kevion Taylor gave the Warriors a 50-49 following two made free throws.
Then, the Beavers would go on a 6-0 run to back the lead.
The Warriors regained the lead after two made free throws by junior guard Devin Whitelow with 7:36 remaining in regulation.
The Warriors would get their lead to six. They kept the lead and cruise to victory.
For the second game of the weekend, Winona State squared off against University of Mary.
Both teams traded buckets to begin the game.
The Warriors were able to get it going early as they hit on seven three-point attempts in the first eight minutes.
With 10:51 left in the half, the Warriors held a 32-15 lead.
University of Mary preceded to go on a 17-2 run to cut their deficit to two with 3:28 left in the first half.
The Marauders would hit a three-pointer late in first half taking the lead at the half.
Winona State shot over 45% from the field and made nine of 19 attempts from the three-point line in the first half.
University of Mary shot over 50% from the field and made eight of 17 attempts from three-point line.
The Marauders were looking to build on their lead.
They would get it to six points, but the Warriors would take the lead back following a three by Rosner.
Following a and-one by the Marauders, the Warriors took a eight point run to get a six point lead of their own.
The Marauders took the lead at 62-61 with 8:22 left in regulation, but that would be their last lead as Taylor would hit a three to take the back and they would not surrender for the rest of the game as they won 86-83.
Whitelow, who had 16 points, said the team can be successful for the rest of the season.
“In this last 11 games, we’re eight and three. If we can keep that stretch going and play at a higher level consistently, we’ll go deep in the conference tournament and hopefully advance to the NCAA Tournament.”
The Warriors return home next weekend to play University of Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State.
The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.