This past weekend was filled with Minnesota State Mavericks pride, as the men and women’s basketball teams both advanced to the third round of the NSIC Basketball Tournament after winning against the University of Sioux Falls Cougars and the University of Mary Marauders.
The men’s team was the first to play on the court Saturday and the entire game was filled with intensity. In the first half the score stayed low as both teams were tied at eight, but eventually the Cougars controlled the game with an 18-12 lead with 9:06 left in the half. Within the first 11 minutes there were six Mavericks who reached the scoring column.
The Cougars continued their lead at 25-15 with 5:47 left in the half, but within the final minutes, the Mavericks outscored Sioux Falls 17-7 to tie the game at 32 going into halftime.
Altogether, Minnesota State shot 60.9% from the field compared to USF who shot 48.1%.
Within the first 10 minutes of the game, both the Mavericks and the Cougars worked hard on defense to ensure the other team didn’t score, but with 9:41 left in the second half the score was tied up at 41. MSU was able to gain a lead at 57-50 after a pair of free throws from sophomore Kelby Kramer with 1:30 remaining in the game.
The Cougars followed with a 9-1 run to take a 59-58 lead with 15 left in the game. Instead of tensing up, the Mavericks came back with a jump shot scored by senior Cameron Kirksey to end the game in a Maverick 60-59 win.
Kirksey ended Saturday’s game with a game-high 18 points, which also brought in his career total to 1,505 points, making him the ninth Maverick in history to pass the 1,500 point mark.
As a team, Minnesota State shot 52.3% from the field in comparison to USF who shot 35.9%.
On Sunday the women played their game against the University of Mary Marauders and also ended the afternoon with a Maverick win. Within the first few minutes of the game, the Mavericks managed to take a 10-0 lead with high scores from sophomore Kristi Fett and junior Rachel Shumski, resulting in a Maverick lead of 25-13 going into the second quarter.
Throughout the second quarter the Mavericks continued their lead with a strong offense and went into halftime with a score of 51-34.
Fett led the team at half with 12 shots and three blocks while sophomore Rylee Menster and senior Kirstin Klitzke each scored nine points.
In the second half the Mavericks didn’t give up and continued increasing their leading scores. The team went on an 11-4 run, increasing their lead to 74-43 at the end of the third quarter. Nothing changed in the final quarter as the Maverick stayed strong on offense and won the game 81-59.
To continue their hot streak, the men’s team played on Monday night against the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs and won 79-73, advancing to the NSIC Tournament Championship Tuesday night against Northern State.
After a hard fight and managing to come back late in the fourth quarter, the women’s team fell short of University of Minnesota Duluth and lost 77-80.
Header photo: Minnesota State guard Corvon Seales (15) dribbles the basketball during a game against Upper Iowa University at the Taylor Center Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 in Mankato, Minn. (Mansoor Ahmad/MSU Reporter)