Blue Devils approach century mark in second straight win
LA CROSSE, Wis. — The Riverland men’s basketball team officially has its first winning streak of the season after a 92-73 rout of Western Wisconsin Technical Institute.
Despite some shooting troubles early on Wednesday night, the visiting Riverland Blue Devils built a 39-29 lead at halftime. It took a while for the Riverland outside shooters to find their range in the cozy confines of the WWTI Gym, so instead they took the ball inside.
"It’s a small gym and they have a serious homecourt advantage, so we feel good about getting the road win," Riverland coach Dan Swift said. "We came out and only shot 35-percent from the field in the first half, but it was good enough to get a 10-point lead. We put together a few runs and got the ball inside, plus we made some free throws."
For the second straight game, the Blue Devils were led in scoring by Jason Simmons. In leading his team to its second consecutive victory; Simmons had 26 points, 24 rebounds, and six assists.
"Jason (Simmons) had one of the biggest games I’ve ever been a part of and he was a man among boys on the court," Swift said. "He had a monster game and the rest of the team played well around him. We’re starting to come together, and the guys are weeding themselves out into their roles."
Chris Moragne also had a solid night in the scoring department with 23 points. There were three other players in double figures as AJ Kortz had 13, while Spencer Monson and Derek Hahn each added 10 points in the win.
Danny DeWitz added six points, point-guard Jesse Hogin hit for two, and Stoney Grant also had two points. The Blue Devils were only 6-for-21 from beyond the three-point arc. Simmons, Hahn, and Kortz each made a pair of three-pointers.
"Chris (Moragne) did a great job of taking the ball inside," Swift concluded. "He made 7 of 10 free throw attempts and also went 8-for-13 from the floor. We ran through our offensive sets and made shots in the paint, so that was nice to see. You have to start somewhere and it gives the guys some confidence to win back-to-back games."
Riverland (2-5) returns home to the Austin campus on Monday night for a game against Pillsbury Baptist Bible College.