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Mavericks catch fire in 85-75 win over Mustang men

February 25, 2013
Marshall Independent

The ninth-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato men's basketball team shot an astounding 81.5 percent (22-for-27) in the second half to close out Southwest Minnesota State for an 85-75 win Saturday in Mankato in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference finale for both teams.

The Mavericks scored 51 points in the second half after leading 34-29 at halftime. They finished shooting 61 percent for the game.

Jarvis Williams led the NSIC regular season champion Mavericks (21-4 overall, 17-4 NSIC) with 21 points on 10 of 15 shooting. Forward Assem Marei added 17 points on 8 of 11 shooting while also contributing seven rebounds, three blocks, three steals and three assists.

The Mustangs (16-12, 13-8) also shot well in the game, finishing at 52.5 percent from the field, but it wasn't enough to keep pace. They pulled to within six points just over eight minutes into the second half after a layup by Matt Zager, but the Mavericks stretched their lead to 18 on a layup by Williams with 5:40 left in the game and coasted to the win.

Jordan Miller had a strong scoring night for the Mustangs in defeat, pouring in a game-high 26 points. He was 5-for-11 from 3-point range. He was joined in double figures scoring by center Nick Smith (15), reserve forward Lavione West (12), Zager (10) and guard Vinard Birch (10).

SMSU will open the NSIC tournament on the road. The Mustangs were seeded fifth in the NSIC South Division and kick off the 16-team tournament Wednesday against No. 4 seed Minnesota State-Moorhead in Moorhead. The Mustangs defeated the Dragons 86-82 in overtime when the two teams met Jan. 18 in Moorhead.

The winner of Wednesday's game between the Mustangs and Dragons advances to play the winner between MSU-Mankato, the top seed in the South, and Minnesota-Crookston, the No. 8 seed in the North, on Saturday.

SMSU won the NSIC?tournament for the first time in school history last season and has advanced to the championship game five times.

SMSU (75)

Nick Smith 7-10 0-0 15, Vinard Birch 5-9 0-0 10, Jordan Miller 9-18 3-4 26, Matt Zager 5-9 0-0 10, William Giddings 1-2 0-0 2, Lavione West 4-7 4-4 12. Totals 31-59 7-8 75. 3-pointers 6-15 (Miller 5-11, Smith 1-1) Rebounds 25 (Barnes 5, Miller 5) Assists 9 (Birch 3) Steals 6 Blocks 0 Turnovers 9 Total Fouls 12.

MSU-Mankato (85)

Connor O'Brien 6-7 0-0 12, Assem Marei 8-11 1-5 17, Jarvis Williams 10-15 1-1 21, Zach Monaghan 4-7 2-2 12, Gage Wooten 2-5 0-0 5, Jaymeson Moten 1-2 0-0 3, Jimmy Whitehead 3-5 0-0 8, Zach Romashko 2-5 2-2 7. Totals 36-59 6-10 85. 3-pointers 7-12 (Whitehead 2-3, Monaghan 2-3, Romashko 1-1, Moten 1-2, Wooten 1-2) Rebounds 29 (Marei 7) Assists 20 (Monaghan 8, Williams 5) Steals 6 (Marei 3) Blocks 4 (Marei 3) Turnovers 9 Total Fouls 9.

Halftime Score: MSU-Mankato 34, SMSU 29.

 
 

 

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