Maverick men’s basketball heating up

The Minnesota State Mavericks Men’s Basketball team spent their weekend in North Dakota.

The Mavs faced the Minot State Beavers on Friday and the University of Mary Marauders on Saturday.

Minnesota State entered the weekend red-hot, winning nine of their last 10 games. The only loss during this stretch came at the hands of the Northern State Wolves, who were ranked No. 13 in Division II when they played the Mavericks.

The Mavericks’ were unable to keep the momentum going as they fell to Minot State in overtime. The final score was 83-91.
Minnesota State was a victim of foul trouble, committing a total of 24 for the game. Three of the Mavericks’ five starters fouled out during the contest. Cameron Kirksey, Kevin Krieger, and Cole Harper were the players whom had five fouls each. Carlos Anderson came off the bench and ended the game with four fouls himself.

The Mavs were led by Charlie Brown, who scored a team-high 24 points. Chris Hendrix led the team in rebounding with eight, while also adding 15 points. Carlos Anderson came off the bench to score 12 points.

The Beavers were led by Luis Ricci Maia, who scored a game-high 25 points while dishing out six assists. Tyler Rudolph pulled down a game-high 12 boards for the Beavers, while adding 18 points for his fourth double-double of the season.

An interesting note about Minot State is the number of foreign-born players on their team. The Beavers’ roster includes six players who were born abroad, or one-third of the entire team.

Luis Ricci Maia, who led the game in scoring, was born and raised in a town that is about four-and-a-half hours north of Sao Paulo, Brazil. There are also players from Australia, England, New Zealand, Spain, and Macedonia on the team.

Minnesota State was able to follow-up that heartbreaking overtime loss with a victory at the University of Mary Marauders. The Mavericks defeated the Marauders by a final score of 80-64.

Cameron Kirksey had a game-high 26 points and seven rebounds for the Mavericks. Chris Kendrix added another 21 points for MSU. Charlie Brown recorded his second highest assist total on the season, dishing out seven assists against the Marauders. Brown’s season-high is eight assists in one game, which came in the season opener against Pittsburgh State.

Carter Asche came off the bench to score 12 points, setting a new season-high in points in a game. Asche scored all of his points from downtown, as he went 4-5 from beyond the arc.

The Marauders were led in scoring by Keith Hunter, who scored 17 points.

The starters for the University of Mary struggled scoring the ball. Hunter was the lone starter who had over 10 points, while the remaining four starters scored seven points or less.

Connor Hellebust and Wyatt Carr came off the bench for the Marauders and scored 14 and 10 points respectively.
With the weekend split, the Mavericks move to 13-4 overall, with a 9-2 record in the NSIC. Minnesota State drops to third overall in the NSIC standings with the loss to Minot State.

Northern State continues their dominant run, posting an 18-1 overall record and an NSIC record of 12-0. Minot State is second in the NSIC with a conference record of 10-2, including an overall record of 16-2. Minnesota State is third, followed by Southwest Minnesota State and St. Cloud State.

The Mavericks will be back home at the Taylor Center this week with a pair of home games against Sioux Falls on Friday, January 19th, and Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday, January 20th.

It will be important for the Mavericks to sweep this weekend series of games to remain in the top-three of the NSIC standings. Southwest Minnesota State only trails the Mavericks in the standings by one game, and a loss could drop the Mavericks to the fourth position in the table.

If you can’t attend these games, you can still support the Mavericks and catch all of their games online and on the radio on The Fan Mankato, AM 1230.

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