No. 5 Metro State scores 84-72 road victory at No. 7 Winona State
WINONA, Minn. -- No. 5 Metro State earned a 84-72 road win at No. 7 Winona State on Friday in non-conference action. The Roadrunners improved to 2-0 this season, while WSU fell to 3-1.
Winona State, which was picked to win the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with four starters returning from a 25-5 squad last season, was 14-1 at home a year ago.
The Roadrunners full-court press forced 23 turnovers, led by five steals from Brandon Jefferson, who also scored a game-high 21 points. Jefferson hit 6-of-11 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and made all six of his free throw attempts.
Senior Jonathan Morse also turned in a big night, scoring 20 points on 10-of-17 shooting with five rebounds, two blocked shots, two steals and two assists, matched up against the NSIC South Division preseason player of the year Clayton Vette, who had 19 points and five turnovers for the Warriors.
Sophomore Mitch McCarron had his first career double-double in his second career game, scoring 17 points with 10 rebounds and four assists. Demetrius Miller added 15 points and three steals.
MSU shot 48.4 percent from the floor and buried 6-of-12 from the outside, while committing just nine turnovers. Metro also had 23 points off turnovers and 18 second-chance points.
WSU, led by Vette's 19 points, shot 51.9 percent and outrebounded the Roadrunners 33-30.
Vette scored the first points of the game on WSU's first possession, but a 3-pointer by Jefferson on Metro State's first possession put the Roadrunners in front 3-2 and they led the rest of the game. A 7-0 run midway through the first half stretched the MSU lead to 23-9 with 13:14 left in the half, but the Warriors cut that lead to four points at one point and trailed 40-32 at halftime.
The Roadrunners opened the second half on a 9-1 run, capped by another 3-pointer by Jefferson with 17:40 to go in the game. Another triple from Jefferson gave Metro State its largest lead of the game at 18 points with 15:15 left as MSU held a double-digit lead the entire second half. Metro State made just 5-of-10 at the line in the final 1:29 as WSU trimmed the lead back down to 12 points at the buzzer.