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Ridgewater's Adam Eyton, left, drives to the basket while Minnesota West's Mitchell Olson rises up to attempt a block during the first half of a MCAC Southern Division game Wednesday in Willmar. Tribune photo by Tom Larson.

Men's Basketball: Warriors fall short

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sports Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Tribune Staff Report

WILLMAR -- The Ridgewater men's basketball team battled back from a 12-point halftime deficit against Minnesota West but fell short of a full-blown comeback and lost 65-57 on Wednesday at Ridgewater.

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Ridgewater fell to 0-3 in the MCAC Southern Division and 6-10 overall while the Blue Jays improved to 1-1 in the division and 7-8 overall. The Warriors play Riverland at Ridgewater at 3 p.m. Saturday.

On Wednesday, Ridgewater shot just 25 percent from the field and trailed 36-24 at the break. The Warriors recovered in the second half and had the Blue Jays' margin down to two points late in the game.

"We got it down to two but then (Minnesota West) hit a couple of big shots and they made their free throws," said Warriors head coach Bob Knutson. "We didn't quit."

Ridgewater struggled against the Blue Jays' defensive pressure in the second half, but heated up in the second half, hitting 48 percent from the field. But the Warriors lost the rebounding battle (45-35 overall, and a 32-24 edge on the defensive boards) and the Blue Jays turned that into a 14-9 advantage in second-chance points.

Minnesota West clipped along efficiently and consistently from the field, hitting 50 percent in the first half and 47 percent for the game. That hurt the Warriors when their energy level sagged, Knutson said.

"We have energy and then we lose it for some reason," Knutson said. "I don't know what it is, but we have to find a way to keep our energy up and stay focused."

Tyler Pendleton led the Warriors with 15 points, and Neil Helgeson had 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Cody Warner added 8 points, 6 boards and 4 assists.

Luke Roddy led the Blue Jays with 12 points, 6 assists and 5 steals. Mitch Hopkins had 15 points and 8 rebounds, and Mitchell Olson had 13 points and 8 boards.

Minnesota West 65, Ridgewater 57

Minn. West (1-1 7-8) 36 29 -- 65

Ridgewater (0-3, 6-10) 24 33 -- 57

MINNESOTA WEST - 27-58 FG (3-10 3-pt); 8-17 FT; 45 rebounds; 11 fouls ... Scoring: Luke Roddy 12, Alan Green 10, Myler Neal 9, Mitch Hopkins 15, Mitchell Olson 13, Corey Lewis 4, Jimmy Sabastiano 2 ... 3-point shots: Roddy 3 ... Rebound leaders: Neal 9, Hopkins 8, Olson 8 ... Assist leaders: Roddy 6 ... Steal leaders: Roddy 5

RIDGEWATER - 23-65 FG (8-27 3-pt); 3-4 FT; 35 rebounds; 14 fouls ... Scoring: Zak Pendleton 5, Neil Helgeson 11, Jamie Boostra 3, Jake Rambow 2, Jordan Schwarz 8, Tyler Pendleton 15, Adam Eyton 5, Cody Warner 8 ... 3-point shots: T.Pendleton 5, Eyton 1, Helgeson 1, Z.Pendleton 1 ... Rebound leaders: Helgeson 8, Warner 6 ... Assist leaders: Warner 4, Z.Pendleton 4 ... Steal leaders: Z.Pendleton 1, Helgeson 1, Boonstra 1, Rambow 1, T.Pendleton 1, Warner 1

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