Heading into this weekend the Minnesota State men’s basketball team had a pit stop in St. Cloud this past Tuesday. It was a rescheduled game for the Mavericks, which was previously postponed to a later date due to Covid-19 protocols.
That game was replayed Tuesday, as the Mavs traveled to take on the top scorer in the NSIC. St. Cloud State’s scoring woes were apparent in the first half of play, with the Huskies taking a 38-34 lead into half time.
It was a disappointing half for MSU, who went into the intermission shooting 0 percent from three point range on ten missed threes. Despite shooting awfully from beyond the arc, the Mavericks were putting in work in the paint and were able to score 14 second chance points to the Huskies’ four to keep them in it.
Coming out of the half the Mavs zoned in on the basket and scored 53 points to the Huskies’ 42 to claim the lead and walk out with the 87-80 win. MSU’s depth proved crucial, with 34 of their points coming off the bench.
SCSU however, relied so heavily on their starters that their bench totaled zero points in their 15 minutes of action. Sophomore guard Malik Willingham and junior center Kelby Kramer led the way for the Mavs, each putting up 15 points.
The Mavs moved to 13-6 overall and 7-6 in the NSIC with the victory, and the Huskies dropped to 9-12 overall and 5-9 in the NSIC with the loss.
Minnesota State now moves onto their weekend games against Southwest Minnesota State and Sioux Falls on Friday and Saturday.
First up are the SMSU Mustangs who come into the matchup 11-8 overall and 7-7 in NSIC action. The Mavs and Mustangs played earlier in the season, with SMSU taking home a 69-71 overtime victory over MSU on the Mavericks’ home court.
Southwest Minnesota State is led by senior guard Kenny Byers who averages 14.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Mustangs.
Minnesota State then travels to S.D. to take on Sioux Falls, who come into the matchup 10-9 overall and 6-7 in NSIC matchups. The Cougars faced the Mavs earlier this season at the Taylor Center in Mankato, with Minnesota State claiming a convincing 81-63 victory.
Sioux Falls is led by senior guard Matt Cartwright who averages 18.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
The Mavericks come into their contests this weekend led by sophomore Quincy Anderson, who leads the team in points at 16.3 and rebounds at 6.4 per game. Following closely behind him is Freshman Brady Williams, who averages 12.7 points per game while shooting 51.9% from the field.