MEN’S BASKETBALL: Warriors handle Mustangs 87-67

WINONA – Winona State defeated Southwest Minnesota State for the 13th consecutive time at McCown Gym with its 87-67 victory Saturday in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game.

Riley Bambenek led the Warriors with a game-high 20 points on 7 of 12 shooting, while teammate Skyler O’Laughlin recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

With the victory, Winona State has taken 22 of the last 24 meetings, including the last 19 regular season meetings and 13 at Winona State. The Warriors improved to 9-2 overall and 5-0 in the NSIC, while the Mustangs dropped to 5-5 and 3-2.

SMSU finished shooting 38.3 percent from the floor, while WSU shot at a 53.6 percent clip.

Matt Zager led the Mustangs with 15 points, while Joey Bartlett followed up his career-high 17 points on Friday with 12 points on 3 of 8 shooting. Vinard Birch and William Giddings each chipped in 11 points.

The Warriors hit 17 of their 31 first-half shots – highlighted by four thunderous O’Laughlin dunks. The Mustangs went on a 14-4 run to take a 24-21 lead with 9:03 remaining, but could only muster six points the rest of the half. Winona State quickly erased its deficit and built a 13-point lead with its 19-6 run to close the half.

Down as much as 23 points in the second half, SMSU didn’t quit. The Mustangs tried to make it a game with a 19-5 run that cut their deficit down to nine with 2:37 remaining. Bartlett hit a 3-point bucket to cut the lead to single-digits, but that would be the last points SMSU scores before the Warriors finished the final 2:37 on an 11-0 run.

SMSU has two games at the R/A Facility this week, starting Thursday versus Wisconsin-La Crosse and concluding Saturday against Sioux Falls.

WINONA STATE 87, SW MINNESOTA STATE 67

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE (5-5 OVERALL, 3-2 NSIC): William Giddings 2-8 6-10 11, Vinard Birch 5-9 1-2 11, Drew Osmundson 1-2 0-0 2, Mitch Weg 1-3 1-1 3, Shaun Condon 2-9 0-0 6, Joey Bartlett 3-8 4-4 12, Matt Zager 6-11 0-0 15, David Condon 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Smith 3-10 1-2 7. TOTALS: 23-60 (38%) 13-19 (68%) 67.

WINONA STATE (X-X OVERALL, X-X NSIC): Kellen Taylor 0-2 2-5 2, Josh Mongan 1-1 0-0 3, Conrad Masberg 1-2 5-6 7, Riley Bambenek 7-12 6-6 20, Skyler O’Laughlin 5-6 1-2 11, Isaiah Gray 2-5 2-2 6, Kyle Bauman 2-5 0-0 5, Nick Arenz 2-3 1-1 6, Taylor Cameron 5-11 2-2 16, Mark Blacklock 4-9 0-0 9, Kyle Melcher 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 30-56 (54%) 19-24 (79%) 87.

HALFTIME: Winona State 43, Southwest Minnesota State 30. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Southwest Minnesota State 8-21 (Zager 3-5, Bartlett 2-5, Condon 2-7, Giddings 1-4); Winona State 8-16 (Cameron 4-6, Mongan 1-1, Arenz 1-1, Bauman 1-1, Blacklock 1-5, Masberg 0-1, Bambenek 0-1). REBOUNDS: Southwest Minnesota State 29 (Smith 6, Weg 6); Winona State 40 (O’Laughlin 11, Masberg 6). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Southwest Minnesota State 17 (Birch); Winona State 13 (none). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Southwest Minnesota State 10 (Birch 5); Winona State 15 (Blacklock 4). STEALS: Southwest Minnesota State 7 (Zager 3); Winona State 9 (Bambenek 2, O’Laughlin 2, Cameron 2). BLOCKED SHOTS: Southwest Minnesota State 4 (Birch 2); Winona State 7 (O’Laughlin 3). TURNOVERS: Southwest Minnesota State 11; Winona State 10.