The Southwest Minnesota State University (13-7, 10-4 NSIC) men's basketball team returns home to the R/A Facility this Friday and Saturday to battle a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division teams.
SMSU will face Bemidji State University (14-4, 11-3 NSIC) on Friday with game time set for 8 p.m. The Mustangs will close the weekend taking on the University of Minnesota-Crookston (4-14, 1-13 NSIC) on Saturday with tip-off slated for 7 p.m.
Saturday's game is the annual "Hawaiian Night" game in which fans are encouraged to dress in "tropical"?wear to cheer on the Mustangs and forget about the cold, winter season.
SMSU begins the weekend third in the NSIC?South Division standings and tied for fourth overall. BSU, which is on a seven-game winning streak, is first in the NSIC?North and tied for second overall, while UMC?is seventh in the NSIC?North and 16th overall.
- SMSU scored a season-low 58 points and made a season-low 21 field goals in the win at Wayne State on Friday.
- SMSU connected on a season-high 34 field goals in the win at Augustana on Saturday.
- Matt Zager has scored 992 career points ranking 19th in program history.
- Vinard Birch became the program's all-time assists leader during SMSU's win over Winona State on Jan. 17. He now has 359 assists in 105 career games. He ranks second in the NSIC?in assists, third in assist/turnover ratio and ninth in field goal pct. He also ranks 43rd in Division II in assists with 90.
- Nick Smith ranks 13th on the SMSU all-time scoring list with 1,082 points. He became the 18th player in school history to reach 1,000 points during SMSU's win over MSU?Moorhead on Jan. 4. He ranks 59th in Division II with 31 blocked shots and is ranked eighth among active Division II players with 152 career blocked shots. Smith currently ranks sixth in the NSIC in blocked shots and sixth in rebounding.
- Matt Zager ranks third in the NSIC?in 3-point field goal pct., 10th in steals and 12th in field goal pct.
- Shaun Condon ranks sixth in the NSIC in 3-point field goal pct.
- Joey Bartlett ranks 12th in the NSIC in 3-point field goals made (25).
- SMSU ranks 19th in Division II in field goal pct. (49.6), 53rd in rebound margin (plus-5.0) and 53rd in steals (138).
- SMSU has held a lead at halftime in 12 of 20 games.
- SMSU has held a rebound advantage in 17 of 20 games.
- SMSU has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 13 of 20 games.
- SMSU has shot 60 percent or higher in a half eight times this season.
- SMSU?has shot 70 percent or higher in the second half four times this season.
- Opponents have shot 50 percent or higher from the field seven times in 20 games. Only four teams shot 50 percent or better from the field all of last season.
Southwest Minnesota State has played one of the toughest schedules in Division II?this season, according to the latest NCAA?stats released on Monday.
The Mustangs' Division II opponents have a combined record of 113-79 (.589) in Division II?games, ranking as the 13th highest in the nation - and the highest among all NSIC?schools.
Minnesota State - at 50th - is the next highest ranking NSIC?team.
The Southwest Minnesota State University women's basketball team (3-15, 1-13 NSIC) returns to the R/A Facility this Friday and Saturday for a pair of games versus Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North foes.
The Mustangs host Bemidji State (8-10, 4-10 NSIC) at 6 p.m. Friday, before tipping off Hawaiian Night versus Minnesota-Crookston (7-11, 4-10 NSIC) at 5 p.m. Saturday.
SMSU is seeking to end its three-game losing streak and capture their second consecutive Hawaiian Night win.
OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE
BEMIDJI STATE - The Beavers currently ride a three-game losing streak and are coming off a pair of road losses last weekend, including a double overtime 89-83 loss to University of Mary.
BSU is just 1-7 on the road this season with their last road victory coming on Nov. 16, 2013 versus Western State (Colo.) 85-61.
The Beavers are averaging 67.6 points per game, while giving up an average of 78.1 points per game in NSIC contests this season.
Kate Warmack leads BSU in both the scoring and rebounding departments as the 6-foot-2 senior center scores 17.2 points per game and grabs 9.6 rebounds per game. Morgan Lee averages 15.9 points and Jessie Althoff also averages double-digits with a 10.9 scoring average.
Beavers gead coach Mike Curfman is in his ninth season.
MINNESOTA CROOKSTON - The Golden Eagles enter the weekend with an overall record of 7-11, 4-10 in the NSIC.
UMC is winless on the road in seven tries this season. The Golden Eagles are coming off a pair of road losses to University of Mary (72-64) and Minot State (76-68).
UMC boasts the best 3-point shooting percentage in the NSIC as the Golden Eagles connect on the long jumper at a 38.6 percent clip. UMC averages 70.5 points per game, while allowing opponents to score 75.1 in NSIC contests this season.
Katrina Moenkedick and Alexa Thielman lead the Golden Eagles each with averages of 16.9 points per game each. Moenkedick also leads the team in rebounding with an average of 7.9 per game. After Moenkedic and Thielman the scoring drops off to Ebony Livingston's 7.7 point per-game average.
UMC head coach Mike Roysland is in his seventh season.