The Minnesota State Mavericks men’s basketball team split their home series, losing to the Wayne State Wildcats and defeating the Augustana Vikings.
On Jan. 24, the Wildcats ended the Mavericks three-game winning streak, winning by a final score of 73-71. MSU dug themselves in a whole in the first half, as Wayne State took a 12-point lead at 10:18 in the first half. But, with a strong end of the first half, Minnesota State was able to cut the deficit by one-point after a layup from senior Kevin Krieger with 36 seconds remaining in the half.
The second half was a back-and-forth battle, with the largest lead for either team being just three points. Throughout the second half, both MSU and WSC found themselves tied seven times.
Freshman Ryland Holt ended the game with a team-high 17 points and added four rebounds to go along with that. Senior Cameron Kirksey was able to give MSU the lead early in the second half, on top of his 15 points and seven rebound effort.
Minnesota State was unable to gage much 3-point success in the second half, going 2-for-8, after they were able to go 8-of-21 in the first. At the end of the contest, the team shot 44.1% from the field and 34.5% from distance.
After suffering a tough loss to the Wildcats, the men’s basketball team was able to bounce back and defeat the Vikings, 89-77.
Minnesota State controlled most of the game, as the Vikings only leads of the game happened in the first few minutes of the game. After sophomore Kelby Kramer’s dunk, MSU never looked back and wound up going on 15-0 run and led the game 28-13.
The biggest difference in the game was the Mavericks ability to shoot the ball from deep. In the first half, they shot 9-of-18 and in the second they went 4-for-10. MSU’s ability to knock down 3’s was what allowed them to jump out to a quick lead early in the game.
Redshirt freshman Corvon Seales nailed a buzzer-beater 3 to end the first half, as Minnesota State entered halftime with a comfortable 45-31 lead.
The team held the lead throughout the second half, but Augustana was able to make things interesting and cut the lead by as much as six points. MSU had six players in double figures, those being Seales, Kirksey, senior Carter Asche, Krieger, Kramer and freshman Landon Wolfe.
Seales ended the game with a team-high 19 points and added three rebounds and assists to go along with it. After a slow start, Kirksey finished the game with an efficient 16 points, shooting 5-of-8 from the field.
Kramer was a rebound shy of a double-double but was able to add 10 points in 27 minutes of play.
MSU will head on the road to take on MSU Moorhead and Northern State this Friday and Saturday.
Header photo: Minnesota State guard Jamal Nixon (1) dribbles up the floor against Wayne State at the Taylor Center Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 in Mankato, Minn. (Mansoor Ahmad/MSU Reporter)