The Mavericks look to improve after splitting their weekend series at home
The Minnesota State Mavericks split their two-game home stand coming out of the weekend, as they escaped with a nail bite victory against MSU-Moorhead, where they won 89-88, and then failed to capitalize the following day, falling to the Northern State Wolves, 88-80.
In the first game, both teams fought their hearts out all the way to the end.
From the whistle, both teams got into a rhythm, but it was the Mavericks who had the upper hand.
The Dragons responded back and found themselves down by three mid-way through the first half.
The Dragons eventually took the lead late in the first half, and were up by seven before the Mavericks completed an impressive full court play where senior guard Karson Arrenholz gave the ball to freshman guard Tre Baumgardner for a three-pointer. The score was 46-42 at the half.
Junior forward Cameron Kirksey was putting on a highlight reel in the second half. The Mavs game plan revolved around him, and they would eventually reclaim the lead. Kirksey tore the roof off the place with a monster dunk that was almost from the free throw line.
Neither team gave in down the stretch, as the game went back and forth between the two. With the Dragons up 78-75, Kirksey tied the game late with a three pointer.
After layup from the Dragons, Kirksey dominated the rest of the game and helped the Mavs secure the win.
Kirksey had a career-high 43 points in the Mavs victory, which is the third-highest in school history. He also had eight rebounds and two steals.
Junior guard Kevin Krieger had a double-double on the night.
Following the win against MSU-Moorhead, the Mavericks went into Sunday with their eyes on the top spot in the NSIC.
The Northern State Wolves had other plans. They came out hungry with a 9-2 lead right out of the gate.
After a timeout, the Mavericks found find themselves only down two.
Northern State didn’t let up as they extended their lead before the Mavs drilled two three-pointers of their own, putting the score at 43-37 before half time.
In the second half, both teams were getting in a groove as they traded baskets.
However, the Wolves would go on a 12-4 run and had the 10-point lead with a little under 7 minutes to go.
That didn’t stop the Mavericks from attempting a comeback, as senior guard Carlos Anderson, along with Kirksey both scored to get the Mavs within two.
The difference in this game came down to the free throw as the Northern State Wolves would secure the win 88-80.
Kirksey had another phenomenal game for the Mavs, finishing with 25 points on the night and six rebounds, while Anderson put up 21.
While the team did lose, they still sit in a good spot in the NSIC standings.
Next up, the Mavericks hit the road for a game against Minnesota-Crookston Friday, before traveling to Bemidji State Saturday.
Feature photo by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.