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MEN'S BASKETBALL: Balanced attack, defense leads to Mustangs’ win

February 10, 2014
Marshall Independent

SAINT PAUL - Southwest Minnesota State had five players score in double figures and limited Concordia-St. Paul to 36 percent shooting in earning a 68-52 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory on Saturday.

Nick Smith led SMSU (15-9, 12-6 NSIC South Division) with 14 points and 10 rebounds for his team-leading fourth double-double of the season, while Mitch Weg added 10 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. Matt Zager (13), Joey Bartlett (11) and Vinard Birch (10) also all scored in double figures for the Mustangs, who earned its sixth straight victory over the Golden Bears since the 2010-11 season.

SMSU, which never trailed in the game, limited Concordia (7-15, 4-14 NSIC) to just 17 points and 21 percent shooting in the first half in building a 31-17 halftime lead.

"After having an emotional game at Minnesota State (on Friday), it was nice to see our guys bounce back by coming with good energy early in the game, especially when we were able to be up by 14 points in the middle of the first half," Southwest Minnesota State head coach Brad Bigler said.

The Mustangs finished the game shooting 45 percent (29 of 64) from the field, held a 41-34 rebound advantage and committed a season-low five turnovers.

Mike Yanke led the Golden Bears with 14 points. Concordia's leading scorer, Terez VanPelt, was limited to just two points on 0 of 7 shooting .

Both teams struggled scoring in the first half with SMSU jumping out to a 12-2 lead in the first 7 minutes. Concordia cut the deficit to 14-8 with 9:18 before The Mustangs answered with seven straight points with a pair of field goals by Smith, a layup from Zager and a free throw from Birch to extend the lead to 21-8 at the 6:53 mark.

SMSU later pushed the lead to 15 points before settling for a 31-17 halftime lead.

"We wanted to have a higher tempo and to get up-and-down the floor a little bit and to use our depth to be a difference-maker," Bigler said. "

The Mustangs continued to hold a 15-point lead in the first 2 minutes of the second half at 38-23, following a Weg jumper, before the Golden Bears slowly cut into the lead and answered with a 16-8 run to make the score 44-37 with 14:23 remaining.

SMSU maintained the lead at 58-49 with 5:58 left before holding Concondia scoreless for the next 3 minutes. Shaun Condon drilled a 3-pointer and Weg scored a layup, to give the Mustangs a 63-49 advantage with less than 3 minutes.

Southwest Minnesota State continues play on the road next weekend with two games in North Dakota. The Mustangs take on the University of Mary on Friday and play at Minot State on Saturday.

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE 68, CONCORDIA 52

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE (15-9 OVERALL, 12-6 NSIC): William Giddings 2-7 0-0 5, Vinard Birch 4-11 2-4 10, Drew Osmundson 0-0 0-0 0, Mitch Weg 3-4 4-4 10, Shaun Condon 2-8 0-2 5, Travis Meinders 0-2 0-2 0, Joey Bartlett 5-6 0-0 11, Matt Zager 6-12 1-1 13, Nick Smith 7-14 0-1 14. TOTALS: 29-64 (45%) 7-12 (58%) 68.

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY (7-15 OVERALL, 4-14 NSIC): Clay Olstad 0-2 0-0 0, Keith Crockett 2-3 0-0 4, Travon Mitchell 5-13 2-2 13, Cordell Smith 4-13 2-2 13, Terez VanPelt 0-7 2-2 2, Chris Halvorsen 2-3 2-4 6, Shea Mandli 0-0 0-0 0, Mike Yahnke 7-12 0-2 14, Taylor Steinbauer 0-3 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20-56 (36%) 8-12 (67%) 52.

HALFTIME: SMSU 31, CU 17. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: SMSU 3-11; CU 4-18. REBOUNDS: SMSU 41 (Weg 11, Smith 10); CU 34 (Smith 8). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): SMSU 12 (none); CU 14 (none). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: SMSU 15 (Giddings 4); CU 10 (Crockett 6). STEALS: SMSU 9 (Bartlett 3); CU 1 (Crockett). BLOCKED SHOTS: SMSU 5 (Smith 2); CU 6 (Yahnke 3). TURNOVERS: SMSU 5; CU 10.

 
 

 

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