MANKATO, Minn. – Winona State had three players scoring in double figures as the Warriors posted a 70-57 victory against Northeastern State in the opening round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional Tournament on Saturday.
Clayton Vette led all scorers with 18 points while grabbing eight rebounds. Xavier Humphrey added 15 points, including a pair of 3-pointers late in the second half, while Grant Johnson chipped in 13. Winona State shot 46 percent from the floor while its defense limited NSU to just 34 percent shooting.
Winona State will play Augustana (S.D.) on Sunday in the tournament’s semifinal round.
The win is the first for the Warriors in the NCAA tournament since March 14, 2009, which was a 60-59 opening round win against Metro State.
The Warriors survived a second-half charge by Northeastern State that saw what was a double-digit first half lead evaporate. The game was tied at 46 with 11:50 to play in the contest before WSU took over.
WSU held a six-point lead 59-53 when Humphrey hit a pair of 3-pointers with a Johnson layup sandwiched in between to vault the Warrior lead to 14 with 3:04 remaining. The Warriors ended the game on a 19-9 run to close out the victory.
Humphrey and Taylor Cameron hit 3-pointers on the Warriors’ first two possessions of the first half, getting the team off to a lead they did not give up during the first 20 minutes of play. Winona State held a lead that reached as many as 10 points on two occasions in the opening period, with Vette scoring 10 of his points during that time.
Winona State ended the game with seven made shots from behind the 3-point line. Humphrey ended the game with three triples while Cameron hit both of his 3-point attempts.
The Warriors are now 25-7 overall on the season, tied for the fourth-most victories in a single season in school history.