Basketball: Winona State 87, Waldorf 44

This time the Warriors started strong only to see things go against them in the second half.

A night after playing a strong second-half in an exhibition loss at Sioux Falls, the Waldorf men’s basketball team turned it around at Winona State in another exhibition contest only to see a tough second half lead to an 87-44 setback on Saturday afternoon.

“We played well in the first half and competed at a high level,” Waldorf head coach Nigel Jenkins said, adding, “nothing stayed down for us in the second half. We had great looks; a lot of shots went in and out.”

Down nine points midway through the first half to the home-standing Warriors, the visiting Warriors made a determined charge sparked by a Khalid Manney 3-pointer.

Demitrius Martin then scored nine straight for Waldorf (3-3 overall), putting the Warriors in front 31-28 with five minutes left until the break.

Winona State responded with a 9-0 run to retake the lead, but the Warriors went into halftime with confidence down just 39-35.

But then the ball wouldn’t fall for the Warriors, who got just two Gabriel Munoz free throws over the first nine minutes of the second half as Winona State broke the game open and never looked back.

“This was a great week of learning for this young group,” Jenkins said as the Warriors wrapped up a week-long, three-game exhibition stretch against NCAA Division II foes with Saturday’s contest. “Back to work tomorrow to prepare for Monday.”

Today, the Warriors return to NAIA action when they host the Concordia-Nebraska Bulldogs at 6 p.m. at the Hanson Fieldhouse. The game can be heard on KHAM 103.1fm.

Martin led the way for Waldorf with 15 points on the night, while Brady Kuchinka added 10 points.