Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Big Game 2-17-12: Winona State's Troubles Mount

You might recall that the Winona State men were found last week to have used an ineligible player. As a result their 14-1 conference record (or wherever they end up) will be reduced by .299 to determine whether they qualify for the NSIC playoffs. But don't worry, they'll qualify.

In fact they've got their NSIC opponents right where they want them. You might also recall that last year Anthony Tucker turned up ineligible the night be the playoffs began. Having lost their leading scorer, they swept to the NSIC title. Now, having lost 1 of their top 9, they shouldn't miss a beat. Their record will say 1 thing, but they'll still be that 14-1 team.

Well, make that 14-2. The Moorhead State beat the tar out of the Warriors last night in Winona 90-72. You might further recall that the Dragons opened the year on a tear but have since come back to the pack. But now, suddenly, they're fighting for the regular season title and #1 seed in the playoffs. With last night's win, they're 14-5 and a half-game behind St. Cloud State for 1st place.

Winona, meanwhile, is 17-2 in the conference, officially, but their position in the final standings will be subject to that .299 penalty.

Guard D.J. Hamilton continued a year's worth of stellar play with 23 points, 6 assists and 3 steals last night. He is very possibly the NSIC's player of the year. Jordan Riewer came off the bench to score a career high 21. Charlie Chapman added 19 and post Alex Novak 8 points, 18 boards and 3 steals.

Winona led 11-0, meaning that Moorhead out-scored the Warriors 45-12 the rest of the 1st half! The largest lead was 51-25, and the closest Winona got was at 65-56 with 6:41, but the Dragons pulled away from there.

Player of the Day

The PoD, however, is shared by Kevin Love and Nicola Pekovic of the Timberwolves who won in Houston last night 111-96 as the 2 big fellows scored 33 and 30 points while adding 29 rebounds between them.

Coach of the Day

Faith Johnson Patterson of the DeLaSalle girls, who served notice that they are playoff ready despite the loss of Mariah Adanane for the remainder of the season. They won on the road at #1AA Providence 52-47 despite getting just 4 points from Tyseanna Johnson. Allina Starr took up the slack with 22 pints, while AnneMarie Healy had 24 for Providence. Johnson's first job in coaching was as an assistant to Providence coach Ray Finley (Finley was not at Providence at the time).

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