Men’s basketball splits, onto Northern State in NSIC tournament on Wednesday

The Minnesota State men’s basketball team battled in hard-fought games this past weekend against No. 15 Upper Iowa and unranked Winona State. The Mavericks came into the weekend 15-8 overall and 8-8 in the NSIC.

Thursday night’s game against Upper Iowa started slow for the Mavericks as the Peacocks started out with an 11-4 scoring run just over three minutes in. Sophomore guard Quincy Anderson would respond for the Mavericks hitting three shots in a row and tying the game up at 11. 

With ten minutes left in the first half, Anderson would convert a three-point play that would bring the score to 22-21 Peacocks. The remainder of the first half would see both teams go on smaller scoring runs, and would have Upper Iowa up 36-34 going into the second half.

The second half started out with back and forth action going in favor of the Mavericks and would have them up 46-45 with 15 minutes remaining. The next five minutes would see Minnesota State go on a 12-4 scoring run and have them up 58-49 with 9:31 remaining. 

A dunk by senior guard Cade Moritz would spark a 12-3 scoring run for the Peacocks. This run would tie the game up 61-61 with just under five minutes remaining.

Two free throws by redshirt freshman Brady Williams would be the final points the Mavericks would score in the game. The Peacocks ended the game with a 7-0 scoring run and took the game by a score of 68-63. 

MSU head coach Matt Margenthaler remained optimistic about the future despite the disappointing outcome against Upper Iowa. 

“We played well against a top-20 team in the nation, but we let that get away,” said Margenthaler. “[This] shows how good of a basketball team we can be.”

The Mavericks would have a break on Friday before being back at home Saturday against Winona State. Saturday night’s game against Winona started out with back-and-forth action that had both teams knotted at 12 just five minutes into the game. 

A jumper by senior guard Devin Whitelow would spark a 10-1 scoring run for the Warriors. This scoring run would have Winona up 22-13 with just under ten minutes remaining in the first half. 

It was back-and-forth action for the final ten minutes in the first half as both teams were able to score on key opportunities. Winona State led Minnesota State 43-33 heading into the second half of play.

The Mavericks opened up the second half red-hot as they climbed back within three points with 15 minutes left. Winona responded with a 6-0 scoring run of their own.

Minnesota State would not shy away by putting up a 9-0 scoring run led by Anderson. This scoring run evened up the game at 57 with 11:46 remaining in the game.

A hard-fought ten minutes for both teams saw the score even at 85 with 1:43 to go in the game. Freshman guard Harrison Braudis broke the tie for the Mavericks with a clutch driving layup to put them up by two with 30 seconds remaining. 

Braudis would hit two free throws with four seconds left to seal the deal for Minnesota State by a score of 89-85.

Minnesota State will be back in action against Northern State on Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. for the first round of the NSIC playoffs. Coach Margenthaler was straightforward about what his team needs to do to secure a victory. 

“Guard the three point line,” said Margenthaler. “They’re one of the top three point shooting teams in that nation. That will give us a good chance to win.”

Header Photo: Freshman guard Harrison Braudis (5) sank three shots in the final 30 seconds of the Mavericks’ home win against Winona State to propel the Mavs to a 89-85 victory in their final regular season game. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to Karson Buelow at karson.buelow@mnsu.edu.

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