The Minnesota State Mavericks men and women’s basketball teams both played hard this last weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday.
The women’s team traveled to Somers, Wisconsin to face the UW-Parkside Rangers.
The men’s team took part in the Hilton Garden Inn Denver Cherry Creek Classic in Denver, Colorado, where they played against the Regis Rangers and Metropolitan State Roadrunners.
The women’s game on Saturday began with a slow start, with neither team being able to take a significant lead in the first quarter. At the end of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to hold a 24-22 edge. Things started to get intense when the Rangers were able to start the second quarter with a 7-0 run, which helped them build a 41-37 lead with 1:48 left in the first half. MSU ended the first half with a 7-0 run, as sophomore Rylee Menster scored five points in the final minute to take a 44-41 lead into the break.
During the third quarter, Minnesota State outscored the Rangers 22-10, taking a 66-51 advantage into the fourth.
Parkside started the fourth quarter with a 25-11 run and cut the Maverick lead to one point. Throughout the game, this would be the closest the Rangers would get as the Mavericks were able to bring the heat and gain a five-point lead, forcing the Rangers to foul to keep the game alive. MSU would close the game out and win by a final score of 91-83.
Freshman Joey Batt led the Mavericks in scoring with 17 points and brought in five rebounds and a pair of steals.
Juniors Tayla Stuttley, Rachel Shumski and Menster all scored in the double digits with 15, 14, and 10 points respectively.
As a team, Mankato converted on 23 free throw attempts, compared to the 13 from Parkside. The women’s basketball team has two homes games this weekend against Southwest Minnesota State and Sioux Falls.
The men’s basketball team didn’t have as much luck this last weekend against the Rangers and Roadrunners. The first game against Regis started with a Ranger lead of 12-3, resulting in a timeout from the Mavericks. After the break, MSU scored four straight points before Regis scored six of their own. The scored eight straight following that to cut the Ranger lead to 18-15 with 11:45 left in the first half.
Out of the media timeout, sophomore Tre Baumgardner drilled a fast break three and drew the foul for the four-point play and gave the Mavericks their first lead of the game at 19-18. From here, the Rangers went on a 31-15 run, punctuated by three-pointers on three straight possessions to take a 49-34 lead into halftime.
At the half, senior Cameron Kirksey led the team with nine points and freshman Ryland Holt followed with eight.
To start the second half, the Mavericks immediately launched to an 8-2 run and shrunk the Regis lead to 51-42. Following an early timeout from the Rangers, they proceeded to extend their lead to 20 points, relying heavily on the 3-point shot.
In the last three minutes, MSU pressured every possession and forced Regis into turnovers and cut the lead down by eight points with 1:42 to go in the game after a 22-6 run. Even with the pressure, the Rangers were able to survive the late attack and won the game 97-89.
Kirksey had a team high of 21 points and added four rebounds.
Freshman Malik Willingham and Holt came off the bench and finished second and third in scoring with 19 and 16 points respectively.
The Mavericks shot 48.5% from the floor, but the difference was Regis making 27 free throws and MSU only 15.
On Saturday, the Mavericks took on Metropolitan State and fell short of a win. In the first half, MSU controlled the pace early and they jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first three minutes. Kirksey scored seven of the Mavericks first 10 points, while senior Kevin Krieger made a 3-pointer as well.
The Roadrunners were able to cut the lead and tied the score up at 19-19. Metropolitan State went on a 16-3 run for the next five minutes to go up 35-21. The Mavericks fought within six points of the Roadrunners at 35-29 with 1:27 left in the half, but the Roadrunners added four more points to take a 39-29 lead at half.
Kirksey led the Maverick offense with nine points and five rebounds, while Baumgardner scored seven points.
The Mavericks shot 40% from the field in the first half and held a 20-14 advantage in rebounds.
Roadrunners senior, Mitch Lombard, led his team in the first half with nine points and four assists. Senior Kendall McIntosh added seven points and four rebounds.
A little over five minutes into the second half, the Mavericks managed to cut the Roadrunner lead to four, as Krieger scored a 3-pointer to bring the score to 52-48. Metropolitan State might have been able to get back out in front by 10 at 58-48, but the Mavericks then went on an 11-0 run to take the lead at 59-58.
The Mavericks ended up taking the lead two more times and built a four-point lead at 72-68 with 1:46 remaining in the game. After this, the Roadrunners scored the game’s final seven points to win the game 75-72.
The Mavericks shot 46.6% from the field and took a 37-26 advantage in rebounds. The Roadrunners shot 42% from the field, including an 8-of-18 (.444) showing from long range.
Lombard led the Roadrunners with 18 points, while McIntosh scored 13 and added six rebounds.
The Mavericks will now face Southwest Minnesota State and Sioux Falls at home on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Header photo: Minnesota State forward Cameron Kirksey (21) goes up for a layup against Crown College at the Taylor Center Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 in Mankato, Minn. (Mansoor Ahmad/MSU Reporter)