The Minnesota State Mavericks men’s basketball team continued to dominate on their home floor this past weekend, defeating the Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles and the Bemidji State Beavers – improving their home record to 9-2.
On the season MSU improved to 13-11 and have a conference record of 11-7.
The Mavericks have historically had the Golden Eagles number, only losing one game. Despite Minnesota State having success against Minnesota Crookston in the past, the UMC didn’t go out quietly, but MSU was able to win 93-90.
In the first half, the score was close, with Minnesota Crookston holding the one-point advantage, 45-44. Minnesota State did a good job shooting efficiently in the first half, going 48.15% from the field and 36.36% from 3. They even got to the line frequently and executed when getting there, going 14-of-17.
Freshman Ryland Holt got things started for MSU with a jumper after Minnesota Crookston got out to an early five-point lead. The Golden Eagles controlled the majority of the first half and even got out to a 12-point lead with 6:41 remaining in the first half.
Minnesota State was able to close the gap by the end of the half, not allowing UMC to score for the remaining two and a half minutes and going on a 7-0 run.
In the second half, Minnesota State struck first with a layup from Holt and never trailed for the remainder of the game. At one point they were holding onto a 11-point lead with 7:01 remaining in the game. The Golden Eagles did cut the deficit to one after they cashed in on a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining.
However, Holt iced the game with a pair of free throws and gave MSU the win at 93-90. Holt finished with a career high 24 points and came down with nine rebounds. He was efficient shooting the ball, going 7-for-11 from the field and went 9-of-12 from the charity stripe.
Freshman Corvon Seales was also efficient in the game, especially from downtown, going 5-of-7 from 3 and 7-for-12 from the field. Seales would end the game with 20 points and added three rebounds and assists to go along with that.
There were three other Mavericks who finished in double figures, those being senior Kevin Krieger (15), sophomore Kelby Kramer (15) and senior Cameron Kirksey (14).
Harrison Cleary of UMC was big in that game for the Golden Eagles, scoring 33 points and adding seven assists and five rebounds.
Saturday night against the Beavers would deliver the same results, but with a more dominating effect. MSU would go on to win that game 87-60 and never trailed in the game after BSU was up 7-5 with 18:16 to go in the first half.
Minnesota State’s defense and offense were on point for most of the game. In the first half they were 47.37% from the field and 30.77% from 3. In the second half they were even better and it’s what allowed them to win by 27 points. In the second half they shot 60% from the field and from distance.
MSU got hot quickly and caused Bemidji State to call a timeout after they went up 21-10 after a layup from Krieger.
In this game, the Mavericks had three players that had a helping hand on offense. After scoring a career high the previous night against Minnesota Crookston, Holt would then beat that by adding 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Krieger was lights out from 3, shooting 4-of-9 and scoring 18 points. Kirksey totaled 14 points and added five rebounds.
After a close victory Friday night, head coach Matt Margenthaler credited the confidence and making sure the seniors played hard and left no regrets.
“We got confidence out of winning the close game last night and tonight we came in and really just talked about with our seniors first, don’t have any regrets, go out there and compete and no matter what happens if you compete at a high level and do what you’re supposed to do consistently, then we’ll get the win,” said Margenthaler.
He also credits doing the little things consistently when the team holds a lead and that allowed them to not allow the Beavers to get back into things.
The Mavericks will be on the road to take on Augustana and Wayne State this Friday and Saturday.
Header photo: Minnesota State forward Ryland Holt (0) celebrates a dunk against Bemidji State University at the Taylor Center Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 in Mankato, Minn. (Mansoor Ahmad/MSU Reporter)