The Minnesota State Mavericks Men’s Basketball team has been on a roll since winter break began. Since classes ended on Dec. 8, the team has posted a 7-1 record.
The Mavericks started the holiday break with a pair of road wins against the Winona State Warriors and the Upper Iowa Peacocks.
Carlos Anderson had a season high in points against Winona State, when he scored 22 points off the bench. What was impressive about Anderson’s performance was that he shot a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line, while going 6-for-11 from the field. Anderson finished the game with 22 points while playing 24 minutes.
Chris Kendrix also had a great night against the Warriors. Kendrix had a fantastic shooting night, going 5-6 on field goals, including 4-5 from three-point range. Kendrix scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds on the night, making this the first time in Kendrix’s four-year collegiate career that he recorded a double-double. Kendrix spent the last three seasons playing for the Missouri State Bears before transferring to Mankato in the fall of 2017.
The Mavericks beat the Warriors in a NSIC match-up by a final score of 83-72.
Just one day later, Kendrix had another night to remember against the Upper Iowa Peacocks. Kendrix ended this game with 11 points and 11 rebounds in a total of 32 minutes for the Mavericks. This is the second double-double in Kendrix’s career, as well as the second in two games.
Kevin Krieger almost joined the double-double club in Fayette as well. Krieger, who played a game-high 40 minutes in this game, finished with 15 points and 9 rebounds.
The Mavericks were able to hold onto an 86-83 win against Upper Iowa. The Peacocks had a chance to tie it in the final seconds, but could not convert on the three-point attempt with three seconds left.
Minnesota State moved to a perfect 4-0 in-conference record and a 7-2 overall record with the victory in Fayette.
Five days later, the Mavericks were back in Mankato to begin their holiday home-stand. The Mavericks would not play a road game until January 5, when they travel to Sioux Falls to face-off against Augustana.
On Dec. 16, the Mavs hosted the Concordia-St. Paul Bears at the Taylor Center. The Mavericks came away with a 93-68 win in a great team effort.
Chris Kendrix led the way for the Mavs with a team-high 17 points and 8 rebounds. Carlos Anderson had another impressive game off the bench for MSU, contributing 15 points in only 15 minutes.
The Mavericks led the Bears for the entirety of the game. The Bears had an impressive performance from Avan Ward, who came off the bench for Concordia. Ward only played 24 minutes for the Bears, but ended up scoring a game-high 27 points.
The Mavericks not only got the win, but also were glad to have freshman point-guard Jamal Nixon back. Nixon has been sidelined since suffering an injury during the game against Missouri Southern State on Nov. 11. Nixon played for 19 minutes against the Bears, tallying 9 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal in his return.
The next game for Minnesota State was on Dec. 19 against the out-of-conference Waldorf Warriors. Kevin Krieger led the way for the Mavericks with a game-high 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 assist, and 1 blocks. Krieger was also perfect from the free-throw line, going 4-4.
The bench players for the Mavericks played well. Carlos Anderson added 9 points and 5 rebounds. In his second game back from injury, Jamal Nixon contributed 7 points and 5 rebounds as well.
Nixon appears to be returning to form before he suffered the injury. In the last two games, Nixon has played a total of 42 minutes in the last two games, combining for 16 points and 7 rebounds.
The Mavericks returned to action on Dec. 30 after having 11 days off for the mid-December holidays. Minnesota State did not lose a step from the holiday break, defeating NSIC opponents Minnesota State-Moorhead by a final score of 81-58.
Charlie Brown led the Mavericks in this game, scoring a game-high 19 points.
Chris Hendrix returned to form, scoring 10 points and hauling in 7 rebounds for the team as well.
The Mavericks were in Mankato for the New Year’s celebration. On New Year’s Eve, the Mavs hosted the Nov. 13 Northern State Wolves.
Unfortunately, Minnesota State was defeated by a score of 84-87. The loss snapped the Mavericks’ seven game winning streak. The team finished the month of December recording only one loss, the first since losing to St. Cloud State on Nov. 25.
Former South Dakota State Jackrabbit Logan Doyle caused headaches for the Mavericks on defense. Doyle finished the game shooting 8-13 from the field, including 10-10 from the free-throw line. In only 24 minutes of play, Doyle tallied 26 points and snatched 8 rebounds for Northern State.
Kevin Krieger led the way for the Mavericks, posting 19 points. Charlie Brown also played a big role for the Mavericks with his 17 points.
Krieger’s three-point shot with five-seconds left in the game pulled the Mavericks within three. After the basket, Minnesota State was able to force a Northern State turnover with three-seconds remaining in the game. The Mavericks got the ball back with three ticks of the clock left in the game, but unfortunately could not convert on the three-point shot attempt to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Chris Hendrix kept his head down and went to work for the Mavericks against Northern State, doing almost everything for the team. Hendrix finished the game with 6 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. Hendrix put up another 10 rebounds for Minnesota State, his third game since December 8th with 10 or more rebounds.
With the win against Minnesota State, the Northern State Wolves enter the new year with the best overall record in the NSIC, 14-1, while going a perfect 8-0 in conference. Minot State is not too far behind Northern State for first place in the NSIC. Minot State closed out 2017 with an overall record of 13-1, including a 7-1 in-conference record. The Mavericks finished 2017 with an overall record of 10-3, including a 6-1 conference record. Minnesota State has a one game advantage on Southwest Minnesota State entering 2018, as Southwest Minnesota State have an overall record of 10-4 and an in-conference record of 6-2.
The Mavericks started a two-week road trip on January 5th, when they travelled to Sioux Falls to compete against the Augustana Vikings. The Mavericks beat the Vikings in the first matchup this season in Mankato by a score of 90-79.
The second match-up between these two teams proved to be a lot tougher for the Mavericks. The Mavericks allowed the Vikings back into the game late in the second half, where Augustana would eventually force overtime with the score tied at 78 apiece.
It continued to be a back-and-forth game in overtime, with each team trading baskets and lead changed. The Mavericks came out victorious in the end with a 94-91 win.
Cole Harper helped the Mavericks on the glass by pulling down 11 rebounds and adding 11 points as well for his first double-double of the season.
Carlos Anderson continues to play extremely well for the Mavs. Anderson led the Mavericks in scoring with 23 points while coming off the bench.
The Vikings had two players who were only one statistic away from notching a double-double. Marcus Asmus had a game-high 25 points, while pulling down 9 rebounds. Jordan Spencer added 23 points for Augustana, while dishing out 9 assists of his own.
The Mavs traveled to Nebraska on Jan. 6 for a game against the Wayne State Wildcats. Minnesota State defeated Wayne State earlier in the season in Mankato by a score of 86-58.
The Mavericks had to fight for a win for the second night in a row, as they defeated the Wildcats by a score of 75-74. Jamal Nixon gave the Mavericks the victory when he made a free-throw with three second remaining. Wayne State was able to get the ball down the floor in a last-ditch effort for the win, but luckily for the Mavs, Kendall Jacks missed a three-point attempt as time expired.
This game had it all: late drama, emotion, and physicality. The game seemed to sputter out of hand for Wayne State when they got a little too physical during the second half. Austin Esters of Wayne State was charged with a flagrant foul with 9:05 remaining in the second half. Shortly thereafter, Brian Goodwin, also of Wayne State, was charged with a flagrant foul of his own.
The Mavericks had two players of their own who were only one statistic away from each having a double-double. Kevin Krieger led the game in scoring with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Chris Kendrix had 18 points of his own, while also having 9 rebounds.
Carlos Anderson followed up with another impressive performance, by scoring 13 points off the bench for Minnesota State.
The Mavericks end the winter break with an overall record of 12-3, including an in-conference record of 8-1. Minnesota State has climbed to second in the NSIC, trailing only Northern State.
The Mavericks hope to keep their two-game winning streak alive this week as they will head to the state of North Dakota. On Friday, the Mavericks will travel to Minot for match-up against the Minot State Beavers. On Saturday, the Mavs will travel to Bismarck for a game against the University of Mary Marauders.
The Mavericks have not played either team yet this season, but hope to be victorious in their only match-up of the year with both teams.