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NCAA BASKETBALL: Mustangs split against Bulldogs

January 13, 2014
Marshall Independent

DULUTH - Vinard Birch and Mitch Weg combined for 27 points on 11 of 12 shooting to lead Southwest Minnesota State to an 87-62 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference road victory at Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday.

Weg missed his first career double-double by one rebound as the redshirt freshman finished the game with 14 points, nine rebounds and one block.

"Mitch is a blue collar guy, who rebounds and defends," SMSU head coach Brad Bigler said. "Heading into the Duluth game, I told our guys that we needed to shoot more open 3's. For Mitch, it opens up the opponent's defense and it allows him to get offensive rebounds that he can turn into putbacks."

Weg was perfect all night as he finished 6 of 6 from the floor and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Birch hit his first six shots, but missed his final one late in the game as the senior guard finished with 13 points and four assists.

The Mustangs have now won 11 of the last 12 meetings with the Bulldogs, but are 32-8 in games at Romano Gymnasium.

"The guys had a short memory from (Friday's 91-83 loss at St. Cloud State) because we executed well on the offensive end against Duluth," Bigler said. "On the defensive end, we mixed up the way we attacked them, which allowed us to make runs."

SMSU finished shooting 53.3 percent (32 of 60) from the floor, including 18 of 31 in the first half. The Mustangs hoisted 24 total 3-pointers with only six finding the bottom of the net (25 percent).

SMSU committed a season-low five turnovers in the game, while Minnesota-Duluth committed 10 on five SMSU steals.

The SMSU defense has allowed less than 65 points in four of its last five games.

"I think our defense has been solid because we are able to go a little deeper with guys off the bench," Bigler said. "That is holding our players accountable because there is some competition there."

With the Mustangs ahead 34-33 with 4:36 remaining in the first half, SMSU exploded with a 14-2 run to close the half. Shaun Condon drained a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left to make it 48-33, but Peter Crawford hit two free throws on the ensuing possession for the Bulldogs.

Minnesota-Duluth trimmed its deficit down to nine after converting on its first two second-half possessions, but the Mustangs responded with a 13-2 run over the next 5 minutes to extend their lead to 20 points. Condon hit another 3-pointer with 4:51 left to give SMSU the game's largest lead - 79-49. The Bulldogs hit some late 3-pointers, but SMSU coasted to the road win.

Junior Coleman led the Bulldogs with a game-high 15 points.

The Mustangs return to the R/A Facility next weekend for Minnesota-Duluth matchups with Winona State on Friday and Upper Iowa on Saturday.

SMSU 87,

MINNESOTA-DULUTH 62

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE (10-6 OVERALL, 7-3 NSIC NORTH): William Giddings 4-7 1-1 11, Vinard Birch 6-7 1-2 13, Drew Osmundson 0-0 0-0 0, Mitch Weg 6-6 2-2 14, Shaun Condon 5-9 0-0 12, Travis Meinders 0-3 0-0 0, Joey Bartlett 3-10 3-4 10, Matt Zager 3-8 4-4 10, Cole Martin 2-4 0-0 5, David Condon 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Smith 4-8 4-4 12. TOTALS: 33-62 (53%) 15-17 (88%) 87.

MINNESOTA-DULUTH (6-8 OVERALL, 4-6 NSIC NORTH): Peter Crawford 3-7 7-8 14, Reece Zoelle 4-9 2-2 11, Jake Wilson 0-4 0-0 0, Junior Coleman 5-9 0-0 15, Treyton Daniels 0-0 0-0 0, Garrison Gillard 2-6 0-0 5, Lane Olson 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Harder 1-2 2-2 4, Charles Benson 2-6 1-1 5. TOTALS: 20-51 (39%) 14-15 (93%) 62.

HALFTIME: Southwest Minnesota State 48, Minnesota-Duluth 35. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Southwest Minnesota State 6-25 (S. Condon 2-4, Giddings 2-5, Martin 1-3, Bartlett 1-7 Birch 0-1, Zager 0-2, Meinders 0-3); Minnesota-Duluth 8-21 (Coleman 5-8, Crawford 1-2, Roelle 1-2, Gillard 1-3, Reetz 0-3, Wilson 0-3). REBOUNDS: Southwest Minnesota State 34 (Weg 9, Smith 7); Minnesota-Duluth 20 (Benson 3, Gillard 3, Zoelle 3, Olson 3). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Southwest Minnesota State 12 (none); Minnesota-Duluth 12 (none). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Southwest Minnesota State 14 (Birch 4, Zager 3); Minnesota-Duluth 9 (Reetz 3). STEALS: Southwest Minnesota State 5 (S. Condon 3); Minnesota-Duluth 3 (Crawford). BLOCKED SHOTS: Southwest Minnesota State 3 (Giddings 1, Bartlett 1, Weg 1); Minnesota-Duluth 4 (Olson 3, Reetz 1). TURNOVERS: Southwest Minnesota State 5; Minnesota-Duluth 10.

WOMEN

UMD 64, SMSU 60

DULUTH - For the second straight game, Southwest Minnesota State dropped a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference road game by four points or less. The Mustangs fell 64-60 on Saturday at Minnesota-Duluth's Romano Gymnasium.

"We were a little tentative in the first half, which led to Duluth taking an 11-point lead," Southwest Minnesota State head coach Allison Kruger said. "In the second half, we were just phenominal. We also gave that kind of effort Friday night at St. Cloud State. If we continue to play like this, we will be very competitive the rest of the season."

SMSU (2-12 overall, 0-10 NSIC South) trailed by 11 points at the half, but pulled within two with 7 minutes, 20 seconds left. The Mustangs didn't tie or take the lead the rest of the way, but the Mustangs never let their deficit grow to more than five points.

Rebekah Rolling put SMSU within striking distance with 10 seconds remaining when her jumper made it 62-60. The Mustangs fouled on the ensuing possession, hoping for a chance to keep it a one possession lead, but Danielle Flood hit both free throws to seal the Bulldogs' victory.

SMSU held Minnesota-Duluth to just 33 percent shooting (22 of 66), but only forced eight turnovers and made one steal. The Mustangs finished shooting 41 percent (23 of 56), including 5 of 11 from behind the arc.

Four SMSU players hit double-digit scoring totals in the loss. The Mustangs were led by Ellen Degler's 13 points, while Bree Holleman and Mikayla Saathoff both scored 12 apiece and Emilee Duske scored a season-high 10 points.

Saathoof, who finished just two rebounds Southwest Minnesota State from a triple-double Friday night at St. Cloud State, finished with 12 points, six assists and two rebounds.

Minnesota-Duluth forced 16 SMSU turnovers and made eight steals.

The loss was the 12th straight for the Mustangs.

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE (2-12 OVERALL, 0-10 NSIC SOUTH): Mikayla Saathoff 6-11 0-2 12, Bree Holleman 4-7 0-0 12, Jessie Watts 0-0 0-0 0, Rebekah Rolling 4-13 9, Ellen Degler 4-6 5-5 13, Hannah Beeler 2-7 0-0 4, Whitney Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Annessa Rosch 0-4 0-0 0, Emilee Duske 3-5 4-4 10. TOTALS: 23-55 (42%) 9-11 (82%) 60.

MINNESOTA-DULUTH (9-5 OVERALL, 6-4 NSIC NORTH): Allyson Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Danielle Flood 3-14 6-6 13, Alyssa Kerkhoff 1-7 1-1 3, Jenna Orr 1-2 0-0 2, Megan Lueck 2-3 0-0 6, Jessica Newman 6-12 2-4 17, Kenzie Kane 0-0 0-0 0, Katrina Newman 0-8 2-2 2, Taylor Dillinger 3-5 1-2 7, Hannah Rutten 5-13 0-0 10, Taylor Meyer 1-3 2-3 4. TOTALS: 22-67 (33%) 14-18 (78%) 64.

HALFTIME: Minnesota-Duluth 36, Southwest Minnesota State 25. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Southwest Minnesota State 5-11 (Holleman 4-6, Rolling 1-4, Miller 0-1); Minnesota-Duluth 6-23 (J. Newman 3-8, Lueck 2-3, Flood 1-5, Orr 0-1, Meyer 0-1, Kerkhoff 0-2, K. Newman 0-3). REBOUNDS: Southwest Minnesota State 34 (Degler 8); Minnesota-Duluth 37 (Rutten 10). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Southwest Minnesota State 16 (none); Minnesota-Duluth 13 (none). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Southwest Minnesota State 15 (Saathoff 6); Minnesota-Duluth 13 (Flood 4, Kerkhoff 4). STEALS: Southwest Minnesota State 1 (Holleman 1); Minnesota-Duluth 8 (K. Newman 3, Orr 2, Rutten 1, Kerkhoff 1, J. Newman 1). BLOCKED SHOTS: Southwest Minnesota State 0; Minnesota-Duluth 1 (Flood 1). TURNOVERS: Southwest Minnesota State 16; Minnesota-Duluth 8.

 
 

 

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