By Ronald Hanaki
Bloomsburg, PA – Fireworks were on display early as ESU’s men’s basketball team scored the first 16 points of the game on their way to pummeling Bloomsburg University, 89-61, on Saturday, February 7, at Bloomsburg’s Nelson Field House. The victory snapped ESU’s first twogame losing streak of the season.
The Warriors showed no signs of a hangover despite losing a 72-71 heartbreaker to Shippensburg at home on Wednesday night, February 4.
ESU came out of the visitor’s locker room with a vengeance as junior guard Jamal Nwaniemeka and senior guard Matt Tobin both nailed two 3-point field goals to open the game.
This game was never in doubt for ESU. A layup followed by two free throws from Nwaniemeka gave ESU a commanding 44-12 lead with 7:43 left in the first half.
ESU shot 10-21 from beyond the arc in the first half for a blistering 47.6% 3-point field goal shooting percentage.
ESU’s torrid 3-point shooting enabled the Warriors to walk off the court with a virtually insurmountable 51-24 lead at halftime.
The Huskies tried to make a run in the second half, but head coach Jeff Wilson made strategic use of the team’s timeouts to stymie Bloomsburg’s momentum.
The Warriors finished the game with four players who scored in double-figures. Nwaniemeka was the leading scorer with 20 points. Matt Tobin followed him with 14 points. ESU senior guard Whis Grant had 13 points, and senior forward Lamont Tillery had 12 points.
Whis Grant is now second in all-time scoring for ESU with 1,783 points in his career.
The Warriors lead the PSAC with an 84.4 points per game scoring average through 22 games. ESU’s average scoring margin over its opponents is 14 points.
This marks ESU’s sixth straight victory over Bloomsburg. By beating Bloomsburg 99-79 in December, the Warriors have completed another season sweep of the Huskies. ESU has now swept the season series against Bloomsburg for the past three years.
ESU’s overall record improves to 15-7. The Warriors remain in first place in the PSAC East with a 13-5 conference record. ESU leads second place Kutztown by one game in its division.
No matter how they finish the season, the Warriors have already clinched a berth in the postseason tournament in March.
ESU lost to Southern Connecticut State, 107-88, in a non-conference game last Wednesday night, February 11.
ESU will play Cheyney University at home in front of the Koehler Krazies on Valentine’s Day.
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