The Rangers Bounce Back

Courtesy of lights out shooting from freshman forward Jeremy Saffold, the Rangers coast to a 92-60 blowout over NIU.

Featuring a non-conference mens basketball showdown, UW-Parkside (1-1) hosted Northland International University (4-1) at a boisterous DeSimone Gymnasium in Kenosha.

Coming off a disappointing defeat just two days prior at the hands of Concordia, UWP came back Tuesday night with a new-found potency.

Saffold’s 20-point performance on an efficient 8-of-10 from the field ignited an explosive Parkside offense. The squad boasted a 50 percent (36-of-72) clip shooting and suffocated Northland’s offensive attack by racking up 11 steals as a team.

“We played a lot more comfortable than we did on Sunday and slowed down the tempo,” said a complacent Saffold. “We executed our game plan and did what we needed to do to get the victory.”

The Rangers vaulted out to a sizable 28-4 advantage that they sustained throughout. Junior forward Zack Blesich was solid in the paint by muscling out 11 points and nine rebounds.

To cap off the first half, Parkside freshman Ryan Pallozo buried a 30-footer as time expired to secure a commanding 49-17 lead.

“There’s been considerable progress but it’ll still be some time before we are completely polished offensively,” said Parkside head coach Luke Reigel. “If we continue playing unselfish basketball, that will come sooner than later.

NIU generated limited offense shooting an atrocious 25 percent (8 of 32) from the field.

Sophomore guard Grant Johnson epitomized Parkside’s superior offensive effort by translating his fourth steal of the game into a thunderous slam dunk to open the second half.

Managing a double-double in 23 minutes, Johnson’s second straight impressive performance totaled 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The Rangers shot a mediocre percentage from the free throw line, but made up for it with dominating performances by the front-court.

Benefiting from Dwayne Edwards’ outstanding low-post presence, Parkside out-rebounded the Pioneers 50-39. The junior forward finished action with 14 points, five rebounds, three steals, and three blocks.

“We had to be prepared to work and that’s exactly what happened,” said Edwards.

Providing key contributions off the bench, senior guard Devon Irven bolstered Parkside’s lineup by adding 12 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Sophomore Sam Katula chipped in with eight boards, five points, and two assists.

Northland’s senior center Joel Widmer scored a game-high 23 points.

UWP has increased its all-time record against the Pioneers to a commanding 12-1.

Struggling to keep bodies healthy, the Rangers witnessed the return of guard Jamere Dismukes who was on the floor for just 12 minutes despite battling a lingering shoulder injury.

Due to the NCAA Division II Central Region volleyball tournament which was awarded to Concordia-St. Paul, Saturday’s contest has been changed. The Rangers will travel out to Minnesota to take on the CSP Golden Bears for a 9 pm tip-off.

“It’s all a process right now,” reasoned the seventh-year head coach. “We need to get better individually and as a team to get us to that next level.”

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