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Cougars take two victories in weekend opener

The MVNU men’s basketball team (2-0) kicked off the season with two non-conference wins, beating out Calumet College of St. Joseph 89-75 and Midway University 94-68 at the Marian University Classic.

“It was a great start,” Cougars Coach Jared Ronai said.

According to Ronai, pressuring Calumet College was the key to success in the opener.

“We had a lot of guys really affect the game in different ways,” Ronai said.

Junior Joey Schmitz led the Cougars with 21 points and sophomore Brett Vipperman added 18. Senior Josh Ashwill chipped in nine points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Cougars’ credit balanced scoring for their second win of the season.

Vipperman led the Cougars’ attack, putting up 20 points and pulling down nine rebounds. Junior Jordi Mas and freshman Trey McBride recorded 16 points each in the contest.

“It was another good win against a feisty Midway team,” Ronai said.

“Both of these teams play very hard, so it was a good first test for us,” Vipperman said of the Cougars’ opening weekend.

The Cougars plan to improve and build confidence as they prepare for their home opener.

“We will learn from this weekend and have a good few days of practice before our quick turnaround,” Vipperman added.

In particular, the Cougars look to be more careful with the ball.

“Our guys know that we have to value the ball,” Ronai said. “We are looking forward to seeing our men be even more purposeful with their passes and continue to improve.”

Vipperman and the Cougars look forward to their home opener Wednesday against Carlow Unviersity. “Our first game in Ariel Arena will help energize us,” said Vipperman.

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