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MEN'S BASKETBALL: SMSU on fire in 2nd half of victory

Mustangs use 56 percent from field to beat UNM

November 22, 2013
Marshall Independent

MARQUETTE, Mich. - Southwest Minnesota State shot 81 percent from the field in the second half to open up a five-point halftime lead before earning a 68-53 non-conference victory over Northern Michigan on Thursday at the Berry Events Center.

SMSU (2-2) finished the game shooting 56 percent (24 of 43) from the field, including 13 of 16 in the final 20 minutes. The Mustangs made their first 10 shots of the second half and didn't miss their first shot of the half until 6 minutes, 30 minutes remained in the game.

The Mustangs' hot-shooting to begin the second half quickly opened a pair of 10-point leads in the first 4 minutes before the Wildcats answered with a short run to make the score 45-37 at the 13:30 mark.

A basket by Vinard Birch followed by a three-point play by Shaun Condon made the score 50-37 with 12:23 left and SMSU never had its lead drop below ten points the rest of the way.

"We were able to go 10-for-10 to start the second half and we did that by getting some action to the rim and by getting some easy buckets," Southwest Minnesota State head coach Brad Bigler said. "On the defensive end, we kept Northern Michigan off-balance by changing-up some of our defenses and we were able to build a cushion to start the half."

Bigler said communication between the Mustangs helped a lot.

"In the second half, it was our ability to communicate on the defensive end that really set the tone for us to be able to make that run."

Matt Zager led SMSU with 13 points and three steals, while Shaun Condon added 11 points - including nine in the second half - with a pair of 3-pointers.

SMSU used a balanced scoring attack to the earn the win with seven players scoring seven or more points in the game. Mitch Weg added nine points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Birch scored eight points - all in the second half - with a team-high four assists.

Nick Smith, Joey Bartlett and Cole Martin both chipped in seven points apiece. William Giddings led the Mustangs - which held a 35-25 rebound advantage - with eight rebounds.

NMU (1-2) shot just 37 percent (19 of 52) from the field, including 25 percent in the final 20 minutes.

SMSU never trailed in the game and built its largest lead of the opening half at 17-8 with 10:44 remaining, following a layup by Smith. The Mustangs held another nine-point lead at 19-10 after a field goal by David Condon. But the Wildcats rallied and cut their deficit to three on a pair of occasions before the Mustangs settled with a 33-28 halftime lead.

Justin Newell led Northern Michigan with 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting.

Southwest Minnesota State closes out its two-game Michigan road trip at Michigan Tech (1-0) with tip-off slated for 6 p.m. today.

Thursday's Result

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE 68, NORTHERN MICHIGAN 53

At Houghton, Mich.

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE (2-2) - William Giddings 2-3 0-0 4, Mitch Weg 4-7 1-1 9, Nick Smith 3-5 1-2 7, Vinard Birch 4-7 0-0 8, Matt Zager 4-8 4-7 13, Drew Osmundson 0-0 0-0 0, Shaun Condon 3-6 3-4 11, Joey Bartlett 2-4 2-2 7, Cole Martin 1-2 5-5 7, David Condon 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS - 24-43 (55.8%), 16-21 (76.2 %) 68.

NORTHERN MICHIGAN (1-2) - Justin Newell 5-10 4-5 15, Dorrell Foster 1-4 1-1 3, Brandon Havercamp 0-2 1-2 1, Terry Nash 4-10 0-0 8, Marcus Hall 2-5 0-0 4, Ethan Blackwell 2-5 2-2 7, Wade Schetter 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Smith 0-3 2-2 2, Larry Taylor 2-3 0-0 5, Brett Branstrom 0-2 0-0 0, Spencer Huss 0-0 0-0 0, Chavis Mattison 3-8 2-4 8. TOTALS - 19-52 (36.5%), 12-16 (75%) 53.

HALFTIME - SMSU 33, Northern Michigan 28. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS - SMSU 4-13 (Shaun Condon 2-3, Bartlett 1-2, Zager 1-4, Giddings 0-1, Birch 0-2, Martin 0-1); UNM 3-12 (Taylor 1-1, Blackwell 1-2, Newell 1-3, Mattison 0-1, Hall 0-2, Nash 0-3). REBOUNDS - SMSU 34 (Giddings 8, Weg 6, Smith 4); UNM 23 (Mattison 8, Havercamp 4). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT) - SMSU 14 (none); UNM 17 (none). TECHNICAL FOULS - None. ASSISTS - SMSU 13 (Birch 4, Weg 3); UNM 5 (Havercamp, Nash, Blackwell, Schetter, Taylor). STEALS - SMSU 6 (Zager 3, Weg 2, Bartlett); UNM 9 (Blackwell 3, Mattison 2, Nash 2, Foster, Havercamp). BLOCKED SHOTS - SMSU (none); UNM (none). TURNOVERS - SMSU 16; UNM 10.

 
 

 

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