Men’s basketball onto Wildcats and Vikings

The Minnesota State University, Mankato men’s basketball team returns home this weekend after a short stint west where they went 1-1 versus Southwest Minnesota State and Sioux Falls. The team returns back to the Taylor Center with a 14-7 overall record and 7-7 record in the NSIC.

The Mavericks move onto the home series against Wayne State and Augustana. First up on Friday night for MSU is Wayne State, who the team had previously lost to earlier this season 69-79. 

Four Mavericks claimed 10 or more points versus the Wildcats, with redshirt freshman Brady Williams leading the charge with 19 points. Williams also grabbed 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the year.

Justin Eagins paced WSC with 23 points in the earlier contest, while Jordan Janssen added 19 points and nine rebounds of his own in the win. The Wildcats shot 44.6% from the field as a team in the game, and shot an impressive 86.7 percent from the free throw line on 30 attempts. 

The Wildcats currently sit fourth in the NSIC, with a 9-6 record in the conference and a 12-9 record overall. Wayne State is currently two spots above the sixth place Mavericks, who still have a lot of work to do in order to catch up.

The Mavericks will then move onto the Augustana Vikings Saturday night, who are one of the best teams in Division II college basketball. The Vikings come into the weekend with a 19-2 overall record and a 13-2 record in conference play. 

The Vikings are also one of the few teams ranked nationally in the NSIC at No. 9. The two teams previously met on Dec. 10 of last year, with Augustana taking home a 33-point blowout victory over Minnesota State 50-83.

Sophomore guard Quincy Anderson was the only Maverick to surpass the 10 point mark versus the Vikings, scoring 13 points on 5-10 shooting. 

Augustana’s Tyler Riemersma led all scorers in the game with 23 points, to go along with his team-leading 13 rebounds. The Vikings shot an outstanding 54.2 percent from the field in the match, which included a 45 percent lights out performance from beyond the arc. 

The Mavericks will have their hands full with both teams this weekend, but will look to put up a fight behind the team’s leading scorer and sophomore Anderson. Anderson dropped great numbers this past weekend on the team’s road trip, scoring an average of 24.5 points per game.

The sophomore guard averages 17.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, which are first and second per game for the Mavericks respectfully. Minnesota State’s junior center Kelby Kramer leads the team in rebounds per game at seven. 

Kramer doesn’t show up on the scoreboard much, only averaging 6.3 points per game, but he is one of the most efficient scorers in the NSIC. Kramer uses his seven foot frame to his advantage, posting an 80.3 percent field goal percentage and does so efficiently from mostly inside the paint. 

The junior center has not attempted a three pointer this season, smartly using his build to punish defenders from inside the arc. The Mavericks will need both Kramer and Anderson to be on their “A-game” this weekend when facing off against two of the best teams in the NSIC.

Header photo: Junior center Kelby Kramer shoots 80.3 percent from the field for the Mavericks.

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