ESU Men’s Basketball started with an early 15-4 lead and then cruised to an easy 89-72 victory over the Shepherd University Rams last Saturday at Koehler Fieldhouse.
It was the seventh win in a row for the Warriors.
Shepherd beat ESU 82-78 in a road game back in January, so the Warriors were looking to get some payback at home.
This time, it was a balanced scoring attack for ESU.
Redshirt sophomore, Mike Millsip, paced the Warriors with a team-high 16 points followed by freshmen Justin Paz and Zach Sabol with 12 points each.
Senior Michal Weiss chipped in with 11 points.
“I am very glad and happy with the way we played today,” said senior Weiss, who scored 11 points during the game. “We scored well, and we shared the ball very well.”
Redshirt junior Troy Jones came back from injury to score nine points.
“We played them hard,” said junior Troy Jones who played his first game back from injury, scoring nine points. “We owed them one, and we came out victorious.”
Graduate student Kitt Najee Walls scored nine points and helped to lead a defensive effort that limited Shepherd to only 24 points in the first half.
“Our press is our biggest weapon,” said Walls. “Usually, they want to bring the ball over and take some time with the shot clock, but we were able to speed them up today. That’s how we were able to win by the good margin that we did.”
Sophomore Shamir Johnson split the point guard duties with Walls and contributed four points.
“We left the last game at Shepherd with a bad taste in our mouths, so we knew we had to come in and play hard and give the effort that we didn’t do last time,” Johnson said.
Predictably, Shepherd University head coach, Justin Namolik, was not happy after the game.
“We didn’t start off the game well,” said Namolik. “They did a good job of establishing themselves well inside, and we got rattled by the press early on with some silly turnovers.”
Naturally, Head Coach, Jeff Wilson, was proud of his team’s performance, specifically the seniors who will soon move on from ESU.
“Our guys were right on top of the game plan today and what we wanted to try to accomplish on both sides of the floor and with our pressure,” said Coach Wilson. “Down there, we played our worst game of the year from energy and focus standpoint. Today, we probably played our best game.”
This Saturday will be Senior Day for the team and The Warriors will honor seniors Montrel Morgan, Weiss, and Walls.
Coach Wilson praised Weiss for waiting for his opportunity and taking advantage of it.
“The last two years, Michal has been integral to what we do,” said Coach Wilson.
Wilson also credited Morgan for being the team’s best wing defender and the glue that holds the team together.
“Montrel has been a three-year starter and a very steady guy for us,” Coach Wilson said.
Walls, who is finishing his career as one of ESU’s all-time leaders in career assists, will graduate with two degrees in exercise science.
“I’ve been playing since I was four years old,” said Walls, getting emotional, “and it’s going to be hard to let it go. There’s nothing that compares to playing at a college school like ESU.”
ESU, 17-8, 13-7, will return to the hardcourt this Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. to take on the West Chester University Golden Rams, 18-8, 12-8.
It will be the last game of the regular season for the Warriors before the start of the conference tournament beginning on March 2nd.
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