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Second-half run seals NSIC?win for ranked Dragons

January 4, 2012
Marshall Independent

Facing off with undefeated and Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference-leading Minnesota State-Moorhead on Tuesday, the Southwest Minnesota State men's basketball team was able to hold a 61-60 lead with 4 minutes, 3 seconds left in the game.

But the Dragons were able to take a 63-61 lead with 2:53 left following a jumper by Jordan Riewer. Matt Zager had one opportunity to tie the game for the Mustangs with 2:34 left, but missed a pair of free throws.

MSU-Moorhead made SMSU pay for the missed opportunity, finishing the game on a 15-6 run to pull away with a 75-67 NSIC victory in Moorhead.

The Dragons, ranked No. 19 in the country, are 7-0 in the NSIC, 11-0 overall.

"It was a very close game throughout," said Mustangs head coach Brad Bigler. "Both teams were doing a lot of good things, but they were able to make more plays at the end of the game to win it."

Led by Jake Driscoll, MSU-Moorhead hit 10 three-pointers on the night. Driscoll was 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Leading the Dragons in scoring was Charlie Chapman, who dropped 20 points on 6 of 10 shooting.

The Mustangs led 34-30 in the first half, but in the second half, Bigler saw a more determined Dragon lineup on the boards, out-rebounding SMSU 23-11 in the second half, including eight offensive boards.

"In the second half, they were able to get some offensive rebounds, and they got some three-pointers knocked down," Bigler said. "They came down and converted."

Matt Zager led the Mustangs with a season-high 19 points, and also grabbed five rebounds. Center Nick Smith chipped in 12 points and five rebounds, while the Mustangs' top scorer, Jordan Miller, was 1-for-10 from the field for three points.

Falling to 5-3 in the NSIC and 6-6 overall, SMSU returns home on Saturday to face Minnesota State-Mankato.

Bigler said in preparing for the Mavericks, the focus is on improving his own team first.

"On the defensive end, just being able to defend personnel better is a major factor in finishing ball games. We have to be more disciplined," Bigler said. "On the offensive end, we're a little stagnant. We're standing around and watching and playing a little too much 1 on 1."

SMSU (67)

Matt Zager 6-10 7-12 19, Nick Smith 5-10 2-3 12, Will Giddings 3-4 0-0 7, Vinard Birch 3-7 0-0 6, Jordan Miller 1-10 0-0 3, Lavione West 2-4 4-4 8, Casey Sussenguth 3-5 0-0 6, Trent Carlson 2-6 0-0 4, Tramel Barnes 0-4 2-2 2. Totals 25-60 15-21 67. Three-Pointers 2-13 Rebounds 38 (Sussenguth 6) Assists 14 (Miller 5) Steals 4 Blocks 2 (Smith 2) Turnovers 12 Total Fouls 25.

MSU-Moorhead (75)

Charlie Chapman 6-10 6-6 20, Alex Novak 3-10 5-8 11, DJ Hamilton 4-11 1-2 10, Jordan Riewer 3-4 0-0 8, Jake Lindfors 2-7 2-4 7, Jake Driscoll 3-6 5-6 14, Andrew VanHavermaet 1-4 1-2 4, Xavier Reed 0-1 1-2 1, Jimmy Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Eric Olson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-53 21-30 75. Three-Pointers 10-25 (Driscoll 3-5) Rebounds 36 (Novak 14) Assists 13 (Novak 4) Steals 4 (Hamilton 3) Blocks 2 (VanHavermaet 2) Turnovers 11 Total Fouls 17.

Halftime Score: SMSU 34, MSU-Moorhead 30.

 
 

 

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