Minnesota State’s Jon Fuqua scored 20 points, grabbed nine boards, and added five assists and steals in a 20-point victory over Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opponent Concordia-St. Paul on Tuesday night at Bresnan Arena.
Fuqua was pivotal in getting the Mavericks rolling on Tuesday, as he scored eight of the first 12 points to give Minnesota State a double-digit lead within five minutes after tip-off. A three-pointer from Joey Witthus got the scoring started while also giving the Mavericks a 3-2 lead. They would not relinquish that lead the rest of the game.
With under five minutes left in the first half, the Golden Bears’ Sam Siganos and Max Keefe drained three-pointers to bring their deficit down to seven points. However, the Mavericks did not let up on the gas as the half expired. Minnesota State’s Aarias Austin scored four of the team’s last eight points to help close out the half with a 40-25 lead. Fuqua led the Mavericks in scoring with 14 first half points.
An outmatched Concordia-St. Paul was not able to build any sort of a comeback in the second half. Witthus once again got the scoring started to build the lead to 17 points. Just under eight minutes later, he drained a three-pointer off an assist from Fuqua to put the Mavs up by 20 for the first time.
The Golden Bears mounted their smallest come back of the game after Keefe and Bryndan Matthews combined for eight points to bring it within 12. 1:59 went by with neither team getting a bucket until Witthus broke the drought with a jump shot and the Golden Bears comeback hopes stopped. Witthus led the Mavericks with 11 second half points.
Concordia St. Paul dropped to 4-13 and 1-9 in the NSIC after the loss. Bryndan Matthews led the Golden Bears with 13 points and six rebounds.
Minnesota State improves to 11-5, as well as 6-5 in the NSIC. Witthus finished with 18 points and true-freshman Cameron Kirksey added 12 points.
The home-stretch will continue for the Mavericks as they enter this weekend to play another set of NSIC games. This will be the fourth and fifth game of a five-game home stand for Minnesota State. The Mavs have gone 2-1 in this time frame.
On Friday, Bresnan Arena will welcome Minot State for an NSIC match up. The Beavers are sitting on a 7-9 record while going just 3-7 in the NSIC. Tyler Rudolph is leading the Beavers with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Saturday brings the University of Mary to the Taylor Center. The Marauders (5-11, 3-7 in the NSIC) are currently on a six-game losing skid but could potentially break that the night before as they face off against the 1-9 Golden Bears. University of Mary is being led by Bryan Jefferson with 15 points and seven rebounds. Damonta Henry is close behind with a 13-point average.
Minnesota State takes on Minot State on Friday at 8 p.m. and the University of Mary on Saturday at 6 p.m.