Daniel McElroy ® Sports Editor |
Photos by Mansoor Ahmad ® Photo Editor |
The MSU men’s basketball team rounded out the weekend with a sweep against Augustana University.
On Friday night, the Mavericks won their first conference game against the Augustana University Vikings in a 72-67 win in a tight matchup that came down to the last seconds.
The scoring started off with sophomore guard Quincy Anderson, stepping through the Augustana defense for a layup.
Several Mavericks’ would follow up in scoring including Devonte Thedford with a 3-pointer and free throw, Brady Williams with a pair of layups, and Anderson again from 3. The Mavericks started the game with a 15-6 lead.
During this run, Kelby Kramer, the 6’ 10” center, would make a block in the paint, his first of three in the contest. Kramer led the team in blocks last season with 79, and leads the team with 15 blocks in four games this season.
After the Mavericks lost the lead about halfway through the first half with a score of 19-17, the hometown team went on a 15-6 run to the end half at 34-23.
At the half, the Mavericks’ shooting percentage was at 45.16%, going 14-31 in field goals, 5-12 in 3-point shots, and 1-2 in free throws. The Mavericks kept the lead for almost the entire second half of the game, until Augustana would tie the game in a series of events with one minute remaining. Anderson, the leading point scorer with 20 on the day, would make a deep 3-pointer to put the Mavericks ahead, 68-65, with less than a minute remaining.
Augustana returned down the court to make a layup, draw a foul, but miss the extra point. In an attempt to regain possession, the Vikings foul on Ryland Holt, who made both free throws, putting the Mavericks up 70-67.
Augustana, again, returned to the opposite side of the court to try and tie the game, but missed two shots from 3 in the last 10 seconds. Thedford drew another foul with .7 seconds left of the game, sealing the 72-67 win for the Mavericks.
A key point of the win for the Mavericks was their points from the free throw line, going 9-9 in the second half, finishing 10-11 in the game. Head coach Matt Margenthaler commented, “When you step up there and knock down those free throws like we did, that’s the recipe to win these close games.”
Saturday’s matinee showed both teams coming out to play with something to prove. The Mavericks, however, come out on top for their third straight win.
The Vikings started the game with a 7-0 lead from three layups and a free throw. Malik Willingham finds his chance to get the Mavericks first points on the board with a 3-pointer and an assist from Jamal Nixon.
A close first half showed the Mavericks desperately wanting the lead back, as Brady Williams made back to back three-pointers to make it 15-14 in only his fourth game as a true freshman.
Margenthaler praised Williams after the game, saying, “He battles down at the post, he’s athletic, and he’s going to have a great future here.”
The back-and-forth scoring would change the lead three times in one minute. The Mavericks would build off of the last lead change, and go on a 14-4 run in the last five minutes. Augustana’s Isaac Fink made a deep 3-point, buzzer beater to end the half in a 32-29 deficit.
The first eight minutes of the second half saw four more lead changes, with no lead bigger than four points. The Mavericks regain the lead for the last time when Williams drained a 3-pointer, made a layup, and converted for another 3-pointer, with Nixon securing three defensive rebounds in that span.
The Mavericks held onto the lead for the rest of the game finishing with a score of 79-70, with leading scorers Willingham, 20, and Williams, 17, leading the team to their third straight win.
The Mavericks’ next meeting is against the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs (2-2) in Marshall on Friday, Jan. 15, and Saturday, Jan. 16.