College basketball: Bluejays defeathered
AARON HAGEN Daily Globe WORTHINGTON -- The first time Minnesota West and Ridgewater played this season, the Bluejays won on a buzzer beater. In Wednesday's men's basketball game, the Warriors didn't let it get that close. MW faced a double-digit ...
WORTHINGTON -- The first time Minnesota West and Ridgewater played this season, the Bluejays won on a buzzer beater.
In Wednesday’s men’s basketball game, the Warriors didn’t let it get that close.
MW faced a double-digit deficit the entire second half as Ridgewater earned a 111-74 victory.
“They made some adjustments to their lineup and they have some fantastic shooters that got heated up right away,” MW head coach Kris Babler said. “That hurt us. We didn’t have any answers. We panicked when they knocked down some of their shots a little early and our youth showed. Their sophomore-heavy roster kind of took care of business knocking down shots and we’d come down and not have great offensive possessions. It snowballed on us.”
The Warriors were 23-for-28 shooting (82 percent) in the second half and finished the game by making 62 percent of their shots. West shot 39 percent from the field in the game.
“There was way too much one-on-one early in possessions,” Babler said. “It wasn’t like we weren’t saying those things, it’s just a matter of we have eight guys because Kevin (Carter) was still hobbling on his knee. If our players can’t adjust, we don’t have a bench to go to. The hope is as we recruit and build this thing a little bit we’ll get more guys to come in.”
After trailing by 14 after halftime, West quickly found itself in a large hole.
Jack Turnbull started the half with a 3 for the Warriors before Marvin Perkins made a jumper.
Trevoris Waugh made a trey for West, but RW went on an 8-0 run to lead 58-34 with 16 minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the game.
That lead continued to grow throughout the second half. A free throw and a 3-pointer by RW’s Matt Ringkob pushed the lead to 87-56 with seven minutes remaining.
MW’s Brandon Harcula answered with a triple for the Bluejays. The teams traded baskets before MW’s Darin Hesebeck made a 3 from the top of the key to cut the deficit to 27 points.
“They stretched the lead to 23 or 24 and we had to put on pressure,” Babler said. “(RW head coach) Darren Tighe is a friend and a really great coach and his kids just picked us apart and finished in transition.”
In the final five minutes, Minnesota West was within 26, 94-68, but the Warriors went on an 8-0 run to lead 102-68.
The advantage was as much as 39 points late in the game.
Akeem Oglesby, who came into the game averaging 17 points per game, led the Warriors with 26 points. Jesse Vogel added 20, while Turnbull had 18. Kevin Bryant, who averages 3 points per game, had 21 points.
“He just killed us tonight,” Babler said of Bryant. “He wasn’t even on my board, that’s how little we paid attention to him and he was brilliant.”
MW was led by Jayden Hampton and Kuol Chol, who each had 19 points.
Minnesota West jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the game as Hampton and Carter each hit a 3-pointer. RW answered with seven straight before Chol hit a 3 for the Bluejays and Carter scored on a drive as West led 11-9.
That lead would quickly disappear as a triple from Marvin Perkins, a shot from Oglesby and a 3 from Bryant gave RW a 19-13 lead.
The Warriors pushed the lead to nine points -- 28-19 -- before Chol answered with a drive.
Bryant made two more 3-pointers in the final three minutes of the half as the Warriors led 43-29 at halftime.
The loss all but eliminates the Bluejays from playoff contention.
“Statistically speaking, Ridgewater was our best way to leap into the top five,” Babler said. “Realistically, we have five teams in front of us for four spots. That’s probably the nail right there.”
MW (8-15, 5-6) hosts Anoka-Ramsey on Saturday.
Ridgewater 43 111Minnesota West 29 74