Northern Men Lose Controversial Heartbreaker To Winona
Late Foul Call Costs Wolves In 70-68 NSIC Tourney Loss
It came down to the final seconds of the game, as the Northern State University men’s basketball team ended their season from the NSIC/Sanford Health Basketball Tournament. The Wolves fell to Winona State 70-68 in heartbreaking fashion.
Senior Spencer Pankonin hit what was a game tying three just out from the NSU bench with two seconds remaining in regulation. Winona State pushed the floor and forced an NSU foul, sending Conner Flack to the free-throw line. Flack drained both foul shots and the Wolves were unable to score in the time remaining. Senior Skye Warwick threw up a last ditch effort from half court that almost had a chance, however banked off the back of the rim.
Northern trailed 37-32 at the half, after somewhat of a slow start in the first 20 minutes of action. NSU shot just 35.5 percent from the floor and struggled to find a rhythm, however came out strong in the second half. The Wolves chipped away at the Warrior lead, shooting 52 percent from the floor and knocking 36 points to WSU’s 33. NSU was unable to continue its 77.8 percent shooting from the foul line in the first half, and converted on only 6-of-15 free shots in the second.
Carter Evans had a monstrous game for the Wolves with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Evans shot 9-of-10 from the floor and added two blocks in 31 minutes of action. Junior Darin Peterka also knocked down double-digit points with 17 on the night. Peterka led the team with four assists and recorded three of the team’s 32 rebounds.
Bo Fries led the team with 3 3-point baskets, while adding four rebounds. The freshman came up big when needed tying the score in with six minutes to play. Mack Arvidson and Ian Smith added six points each off the bench, while DJ Pollard and Spencer Pankonin both recorded three. Skye Warwick and Michael Schreiber combined for the team’s final three points.
The Wolves gave up just eight turnovers in the loss, and forced 13 on the Warrior end. Northern also tallied 28 points in the paint and eight points off offensive rebounds, while shooting 42.9 percent in the game. Winona State matched the Wolves 24 made field goals in the game, however 13 made 3-point baskets proved to be the difference maker.
Seniors Skye Warwick and Spencer Pankonin exhausted their eligibility playing in the final game of their careers. Warwick ends the day with 1,256 career points, sitting 23rd all-time.