Men’s hoops: SCSU outlasts MSU 72-64

The Minnesota State Mavericks’ three-game winning streak came to an end at home against the St. Cloud State Huskies in a 72-64 come-from-behind loss.

In their last non-conference game before a five-game run of NSIC opponents, the Mavericks were red hot, beating Missouri Southern State, Dominican and Fresno Pacific. In their last two games, the Mavericks won by double-digits, with the Mavericks topping 90 points twice in the three game run. The Huskies, on the other side, had a 1-2 record over their last three and looked like the down team headed into the game. The bottom line: You would have taken the money line and spread in favor of the Mavericks.

The first half the Mavericks had the edge by a razor margin, up 32-31 going into the half ahead after an incredibly tight opening 20 minutes.

The largest lead went to SCSU, but they were only able to pull away by four at the most. In the final 1:42 of the first half the Mavericks went on a 4-1 streak to just pull ahead.

The Mavericks spread the ball nicely, with three starters tying for the most points in the half on the Mavericks at seven. The Mavericks shot 44 percent to start but were clearly on their heels after a 12 point half from SCSU’s Jon Averkamp. The Mavs also struggled on the glass, getting outrebounded 24-18, with SCSU snagging seven offensive boards.

In the second half, the Huskies exploded for 41 points, with the second half going to Sean Smith, who had 11 points of his 15 points in the second half, while Brindley Theisen racked up eight of his 11 points in the second half. Averkamp continued to put on a show as well, grabbing seven more points to finish with a game leading 19 points. Kevin Krieger posted 10 points and Charlie Brown had nine, there was not enough around the Mavericks top scores to move past the Huskies. Three of the Huskies starters would have double-digit points and Smith had the double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Off the bench Trevon Marshall had a big night, putting up 13 points in the win to lift the Huskies pass the Mavs (seven of which came in the second half).

While starters for the Mavericks had a solid night, the bench was only good four eight points, revealing the potential for an early depth problem facing the Mavs. The defense of the Mavericks allowed a 45 percent shooting night from the Mavericks and were outrebounded on the offensive glass 11-6.

Now the Mavericks play Wayne State and Augustana on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, which makes the weekend an NSIC palusa for the first conference play of the year. The 3-2 Mavericks will have the advantage of playing at home over the weekend, but the two teams coming in have a combined 9-4 record. If depth is truly an issue for the Mavericks in tight games, it will be a problem that rears its head this weekend.

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