BY RONALD HANAKI
SC Staff Writer
One day after Valentine’s Day, the Warriors showed the Bloomsburg University Huskies no love by beating the Huskies 93-77, despite snowy conditions outside at ESU.
The Warriors are now PSAC East champions for the second year in a row with this win.
ESU junior guard Whis Grant scored 22 points including 4 three-pointers, and junior point guard Matt Tobin put up 18 points and dished out 9 assists in the home victory.
ESU sophomore guard Jamal Nwaniemeka and senior forward Zechariah Runkle added 17 points and 13 points, respectively, to round out the scoring for the Warriors.
Bloomsburg University forward Alssene Saintilus scored 19 points, and forward Dontahe Jordan scored 18 points to lead the Huskies in scoring.
ESU jumped out to an early 11-0 lead and led wire-to-wire in a dominant performance.
The Warriors led by as much as 18 points, and the double-digit margin held throughout the first half as the Warriors were up on the Huskies 50-38 at halftime.
Nevertheless, the Huskies showed some tenacity on the road when they closed to within a 5-point lead at 69-64 with 7:43 left to play, but that was as close as the Huskies could get.
Bloomsburg’s Saintilus scored on a layup to make it 73-68 and was fouled for an and-one opportunity with 5:56 left to play. With the chance to cut ESU’s lead to 4 points, Saintilus missed his foul shot in what turned out to be the last gasp for the Huskies.
Later, ESU’s Nwaniemeka made a 3-point field goal and was fouled for a chance at a rare 4-point play.
Unlike Bloomsburg’s Saintilus, Nwaniemeka would make his free throw to complete the 4-point play en route to staking out the Warriors to an insurmountable 81-72 with 4:42 left to play.
The rest of the game was all ESU as the Warriors closed out the Huskies with a 16-5 run to win the game 93-77.
ESU is currently ranked #6 in NCAA Division II and is now 23-1 overall and 13-1 in PSAC conference play.
The Warriors will be back on the hardwood against Cheyney on the road on Saturday afternoon, February 22.
As PSAC East winners, the Warriors now have the privilege of hosting a PSAC quarterfinal game on March 4.
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