Men’s basketball falls to Northern State in NSIC tournament

After defeating Winona State on home court this past weekend, the Minnesota State men’s basketball team traveled to S.D. to take on Northern State in the first round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament. 

The Mavericks finished out the regular season with a 16-9 record heading into the tournament which granted the team a six seed. MSU was seeded into facing Northern State in Aberdeen for the first round with the chance of moving onto the quarterfinals in Sioux Falls on Feb. 27.

The Wolves and Mavericks got to a back-and-forth start in the first five minutes of action before the Mavs started pulling away. 

A 14-0 run pulled MSU ahead 21-14 before NSU answered with a layup on the offensive end. The remainder of the first half was contested evenly until the Mavs pulled away once again to bring an 11-point lead into the intermission. 

The second half opened with buckets from each squad. Minnesota State remained up by ten points at the 9:42 mark of the second half, until Northern State dwindled down the lead and eventually tied the game at 55 with 3:28 remaining. 

The teams brought a 57-57 tie to the 2:10 mark until NSU’s Sam Masten hit a jumper in the paint to give the Wolves a two-point lead. The Wolves and Mavericks would go scoreless for the next minute and a half until a foul by Maverick Kyreese Willingham sent NSUs Jacksen Moni to the free throw line. 

Moni would make both free throws to extend the Wolves’ lead to four. MSU sophomore Quincy Anderson responded with a jumper at the 33 second mark but two more free throws from Moni would keep the Wolves at distance. 

A clutch three pointer from Anderson would bring the Mavs within one with 23 seconds remaining but a foul from redshirt freshman Brady Williams would send Moni to the line again. Moni would sink both free throws to give NSU a three-point lead that would send the Mavs rushing to score on the offensive end. 

Anderson took the shot but came up empty giving the Wolves a 62-65 win in the first round of the NSIC tournament. 

The Mavericks’ season now looks to be over with the team finishing 16-10 overall and 9-9 in conference play. The Mavs ended with an amazing 11-2 record at home but struggled away at 3-8.

Header Photo: Sophomore guard Quincy Anderson (10) totaled 21 points, six rebounds, and three assists in the Mavs’ loss to NSU on Wednesday. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

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

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