The Mavericks took their talents to South Beach to face-off with Tampa and Eckerd College
Last weekend, the Minnesota State men’s basketball team headed into the Eckerd College Thanksgiving Classic. They faced the Tampa Spartans in their first game and the Eckerd Tritons in the second. The team came out of the Classic 1-1, beating the Spartans and losing to the Tritons in St. Petersburg, Florida.
In the first game, both teams failed to gain the upper hand in the first half as the margin was always less than seven.
Tampa held the lead for a stretch until the Quincy Anderson of the Mavericks drained a three to take back the lead.
There was one more lead change by the Spartans until the Mavs went on a 7-0 run to close out the half.
The second half was a completely different story.
After being up 10 points over Tampa minutes into the half, junior guard Kevin Krieger and the Mavericks stormed to 73-50 lead.
Despite Tampa’s efforts to gain back momentum, Minnesota State secured the victory in the end. With a final score of 73-65, the Mavericks became 3-1 on the season.
Krieger led the team with 16 points, shooting 50 percent from the field and only missing one free throw.
Another junior, Carter Asche, put up 13 points and 8 boards in his first career start.
Senior Juwan McCloud contributed 8 points and 3 assists of his own in the victory.
They weren’t done yet though. Up next were the Eckerd College Tritons on Saturday.
Momentum was on Eckerd’s side the entire first half, as the Tritons led the Mavericks more than 12 points throughout. With hustle and defense, the squad slightly turned the tables with a 10-4 run to end the first half.
The second half was no different, as the Mavericks played catchup and got as close as 63-55, before Eckerd drove away with the victory.
Krieger once again shined with 21 points and 7 rebounds.
Senior guard Carlos Anderson also contributed, adding 12 points of his own, while Asche had 11 points.
As a team, the Mavericks shot a low 36.2 percent from the field, and even more hideous 7-of-26 from downtown.
The Mavericks couldn’t keep up with the mighty Tritons, as the team defeated the Mavericks, 78-67. The Mavericks fall to 3-2, as Eckerd rises to 5-1.
As odd as it sounds, the deciding factor of this game was at the free throw line.
Eckerd had 10 more free throw shots made with 28, and 9 more trips to the line with 31. The Tritons drew more fouls and as a result had more chances for free points. Sometimes, that’s basketball.
Next up for the Mavericks is conference play against Concordia-St. Paul this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. With the tournaments and classics out of the way, the men’s team gets a first look at conference play and the chance to start it with a victory.
Feature photo by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.