Men’s basketball splits weekend games ahead of playoffs

The Minnesota State men’s basketball game returned to action this past weekend where they faced off against Wayne State and No. 9 Augustana. The Mavericks played both teams earlier in the season on the road, losing to both.The Mavs got a chance at revenge on home court this past weekend. 

The Mavs took on the Wildcats first and went into half trailing by six points.  Wayne State had an unbelievable first half, shooting 51.72% from the field. Minnesota State shot well too, shooting 45.83%, but trailed heading into the intermission. 

The Mavericks came out of the half hot, going on a 7-3 scoring run to cut the Wildcats’ lead to two with just under 17 minutes remaining. The two teams traded buckets for the remainder of the half with the game coming down to the wire. 

A three pointer from freshman guard Kyreese Willingham gave the Mavs a three-point lead with 26 seconds remaining in the game. The Wildcats responded with two free throws but were unable to tie the game back up as the Mavericks ran away with the game by making their clutch free throws. 

The Mavs won the game 81-76 and evened the season series with the Wildcats at one. 

MSU then moved on to the top-ranked Augustana squad, who came into the matchup ranked No. 9 in the nation. A slow start to the first half found the Mavericks down by as much as seven with 13 minutes remaining in the half.

The Mavs responded, however, claiming their first lead of the game with 5:20 left until intermission. The Mavericks led by as much as eight before entering half time up by  two. 

The two teams kept the game close as we entered the first half of the second, but the Vikings started to pull away with the final 10 minutes left to play. Augustana was able to keep their lead for the remainder of the game while leading by 12 points at one point, to claim their second win over the Mavericks this season in 74-85 fashion. 

Augustana had four double-digit point getters in the game with Isaac Fink leading the charge at 22. Minnesota State was led by redshirt freshman Brady Williams, who drained five of six three point attempts for a total of 21 points.

Sophomore guard Quincy Anderson noted that Williams, “is an x-factor for us, he can do things no one else can do… He is one of our best players, if not the best player on the team” postgame. 

Williams was also efficient around the rim grabbing seven rebounds and blocking four shots for the Mavs. Sophomore guards Anderson and Malik Willingham followed behind Williams with 13 points each. Anderson also collected a team-high eight rebounds. 

Header photo: ​​Redshirt freshman Brady Williams (21) scored 21 points on 7-10 shooting while scoring five of six shots from three-point range. Williams also collected seven rebounds and four blocks against Augustana on Saturday. (Mansoor Ahmad/The Reporter)

Write to Kole Buelow at kole.buelow@mnsu.edu.

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