Men’s basketball defeats Golden Bears for a second time

It was an amazing start for the Minnesota State men’s basketball team, who entered winter break with an overall record of 7-3. Since, the team has been won three of their past four games. 

MSU has been home ever since their Dec. 11 loss to Wayne State, and that home stand looks to extend itself with their games against No. 5 Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State in danger of not being played due to COVID concerns. Over the final stretch of Dec. and into the new year, the Mavericks defeated Sioux Falls, Dakota State, and Concordia-St. Paul, while only losing once to Southwest Minnesota State in overtime. 

The Mavs dominated Sioux Falls 81-63, thanks to impressive performances behind Quincy Anderson and Devante Thedford who both reached the 20-point mark. MSU won the game inside of the three point line, where they nearly shot 60 percent from the field despite only shooting 31% from behind the arc with zero made three-point field goals in the second half. 

The team then played the following day against the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs, losing that one in an OT thriller 69-71. Sophomore Malik Willingham led the Mavericks in scoring against the Mustangs with 15, but it was not enough as SMSU buried the final field goal of overtime with six seconds left to go home with a win. 

MSU then returned back to the Taylor Center just two days later to face Dakota State, where the team handled business behind Anderson’s 26 point night. Anderson also added a team high seven rebounds and four assists in the 82-73 win over the Trojans.

The Mavs faced a bit of a break until returning back to play in the new year against NSIC opponent Concordia-St. Paul. The Mavericks had previously played the Golden Bears in only their fourth game of the season, winning that contest 81-66. 

The two teams met again on Jan. 2 where Minnesota State was able to keep Concordia-St. Paul winless in NSIC play to improve to 10-4 on the season and 4-4 in conference play. Anderson was yet again a focal point in the offense, putting up 30 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. 

Junior forward Kelby Kramer had a great night for the Mavs as well, putting up 14 points and a team leading nine rebounds to go along with three blocks. MSU was impressive shooting the ball against CSP, where they shot 53 percent from the field and 60 percent from three point range. 

The Golden Bears were led by Elijah Ormiston, who totaled 27 points on the night on 12-19 shooting to go along with nine rebounds. 

The Mavericks planned on playing Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State Jan 7 and 8, but those games have been cancelled and postponed until further notice. The team now sits ninth in the NSIC standings despite a 10-4 overall record before heading into their next game against Bemidji State on Jan. 14.  

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