Looking to learn and test their talents, the Warrior men’s basketball team started a week-long stretch of exhibition action with mixed results Tuesday night.
Playing tough at times, the Warriors inconsistency cost them as NCAA Division II host Wayne State won a second-half shootout to pull away for an 84-56 victory.
“We played a tough game tonight, but not consistently” Waldorf head coach Nigel Jenkins said. “That’s what we are striving for.”
The Warriors (3-3 overall) hung tough in the first half as a Demitrius Martin layup tied if, 17-17, with 9 ½ minutes left until halftime, but a late 16-4 run by the Wildcats gave them a comfortable 33-21 lead.
That advantage got a little less comfortable in the opening minutes of the second half as Waldorf chipped away, and trailed just 37-29 after a Khalid Manney bucket with 16 minutes to play.
But a 10-2 run by the hosts allowed them to break the game open, and Wayne State never looked back as the Wildcats shot 20-of-32 in the second half for the victory.
Offensively, the Warriors clicked in the final 20 minutes as well, hitting 13-of-24 shots from the field, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with Wayne State.
“We had a lot of mental mistakes that don’t show up in the box score,” Jenkins said.
“I believe this young group will figure it out,” he added. “This is a great week for us to test and try some different things.
“Back to work tomorrow.”
Manney led the way with 16 points, while Brian Smith added 12 points and five assists for Waldorf, which gets two days to practice and prepare for two more tough NCAA D-II foes this week as the Warriors play exhibitions at Sioux Falls on Friday and Winona State on Saturday.