Willingham, Mavericks Sweep Mustangs on the Road

Daniel McElroy ® Sports Editor |
Photo by Mansoor Ahmad ® Photo Editor |

The Minnesota State men’s basketball team improved to 6-2 with a weekend sweep over Southwest Minnesota State, who fell to 2-4 on the year. The Mavericks sit at second in the division with a 5-1 record in conference play, only behind their next opponents, Sioux Falls, who is 2-0 in conference play on the year.

Malik Willingham highlighted the scoring for the Mavericks with 20 points on Friday and 17 points Saturday.

MSU pulled out an early lead against the Mustangs with an 11-2 run in the first three minutes of play, starting with Quincy Anderson’s early 3-pointer, in a game that the Mavs would not let go of the lead for the entire 40 minute contest.

SMSU responded with a 12-4 run of their own, to make it 16-14 in favor of the Mavericks, closing the gap as tight as they could.

The Mavericks pull away again with 12 unanswered points from Willingham, Anderson, and Ryland Holt. SMSU comes back with a pair of layups, going into the locker rooms at the half with a score of 26-20.

Willingham starts the second half scoring with a pair of jumpers into a 3-pointer, giving the Mavericks a 33-22 lead. MSU extended this run even further, going up 41-22 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game.

Brady Williams and Willingham kept adding onto this lead, making it a 55-29 game, almost doubling the Mustangs points. 

The Mavericks close out the game by a 20 point margin, winning 60-40. MSU had 40% shooting with 27% on 3-pointers.

Minnesota State started Saturday’s game in similar fashion to how they started Sunday’s game, going on a 15-4 run with points from all five of the Mavericks’ starters. 

The Mavericks add on to their lead with a score of 21-11, but SMSU closes the gap again, going on a 10-2 run, with seven points coming from the Mustangs leading scorer, Nick Dufault. 

The Mavs weren’t in a comfortable position with only a two point lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, so they decided to do it yet again. In the final 10 minutes of the half, MSU leads the scoring 25-10, going into the second half with a 15 point lead of 46-31.

The Mavericks completely dominate the second half and close the game by their largest margin of victory this season with a score of 95-67.

Anderson led the scoring for the Mavericks on Saturday with 21 points and nine rebounds, as he continues to lead the Mavericks in scoring throughout the year with 128 total points. 

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