Saturday, March 29, 2008

Congratuations to Winona State

Yes, that Winona State; the same one that Barton College defeated for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship last March.

The Warriors from Winona, Minnesota, didn't let a seven-point lead slip away in the final seconds this year as they overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half to defeat Augusta State 87-76 today in the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

Winona wrapped up its second Div. II crown in three years as it won its Div. II-record 38th game against one loss. The Warriors compiled a three-year mark of 105-6. The most famous of those losses, of course, came to Barton last year in the finals.

Winona defeated the Bulldogs in overtime in the first round of the 2006 Elite Eight, then upset defending champion Virginia Union 76-61 in the championship. In the 2007 final, Winona had a 57-game winning streak and a seven-point lead with 45 seconds to go and this happened.

Today, Winona made its mark in Div. II history by storming back in the second half. Jonte Flowers had 25 of his 30 points in the second half and was named tournament most valuable player.

Winona is where Barton head coach Ron Lievense, a Minnesota native, spent a season as a graduate assistant.

So congratulations to the Warriors for a nice run.

By the way, there was a nice clip of Anthony Atkinson on the CBS broadcast of the championship game today.

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