SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: SMSU continues tough early season schedule facing Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan
MARSHALL – The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team (1-2) continues non-conference play today and Saturday at the Microtel Classic in Moorhead, Minnesota.
•SMSU will take on Michigan Tech University (2-0) today starting at 5 p.m., before facing Northern Michigan University (2-0) on Saturday with tip-off slated for 2 p.m.
•Both MTU and NMU are members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
•Both games will take place at Nemzek Fieldhouse on the campus of MSU Moorhead.
•Following this weekend’s games, SMSU will host Division III Crown College on Tuesday, Nov. 21, in its final non-conference game of the season.
•All SMSU games will be broadcast all season on 105.1 FM KARL.
•Live stats and video can be found at SMSUmustangs.com.
SERIES HISTORY VS. MICHIGAN TECH
•Southwest Minnesota State and Michigan Tech meet for the 30th time on Friday with MTU leading 21-8.
•The teams were members of the Northern Intercollegiate Conference (NIC) from 1969-80, with the first 22 meetings in the series serving as conference games.
•SMSU snapped a five-game losing streak to MTU last season with a 73-69 win in Houghton, Mich.
•SMSU’s win last season as its first-ever in 13 games at MTU.
•Prior to last season, SMSU’s last victory in the series came during the 1987-88 season.
•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 1-4 all-time versus Michigan Tech.
SERIES HISTORY VS. NORTHERN
•Southwest Minnesota State and Northern Michigan meet for the fifth time with SMSU leading 3-1.
•SMSU has won the last three games in the series.
•SMSU won last season, 87-69, in Marquette, Mich., on Nov. 19, 2016.
•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 3-0 all-time versus Northern Michigan.
•SMSU has been outrebounded in two of three games.
•SMSU made just two 3-pointers in Wednesday’s loss to NSU. Last season SMSU made less than three 3-pointers in a game just once.
•Carter Kirk has scored 20 points in each of the last two games.
•Carter Kirk ranks first in school history in career field goal pct. (58.3).
•Ryan Bruggeman is eighth in Division II (as of Nov. 15) in assists per game (8.5) and 12th in total assists (17) after two games.
•Bruggeman ranks fourth in team history with 312 assists. He is nine shy of tying Jordan Miller (2009-13) for third all-time with 321. Andrew Peschong (2006-10) is second with 342, while Vinard Birch (2010-14) is the all-time leader with 396.
•SMSU shot just 29.6 percent from the field in the second half in the loss to FHSU last Friday. It’s the first time SMSU shot less than 30 percent in a half since Nov. 29, 2016, versus Sioux Falls.
•SMSU finished 26-3 last season when committing 15 or fewer turnovers, but 2-3 when committing more than 15.
•MTU is 2-0 on the season after opening the season last weekend at home with victories over Wisconsin-Parkside (82-57) and Lewis (87-80).
•MTU was picked to finish third in the GLIAC North Division.
•Junior guard Kyle Monroe is one of four Huskies averaging double figure scoring with a team-high 25 ppg with six 3-pointers.
•Sophomore guard Tommy Lucca, the GLIAC Freshman of the Year last season, scored 14 in the season opener, but missed the second game with an injury.
•Senior guard Dillon Gordon is averaging 11.5 ppg with seven 3-pointers.
•MTU is averaging 85 points per game, while opponents average 69.
•MTU is shooting 55 percent from the field, 48 percent from 3-point range and 89 percent from the free throw line.
•Head coach Kevin Luke is in his 24th season with a record of 407-256.
•NMU is 2-0 on the season after opening the season last weekend with neutral site victories over Lewis (79-78) and Wisconsin-Parkside (83-68) in Houghton, Michigan.
•NMU was picked to finish fifth in the GLIAC North Division.
•Junior guard Isaiah Johnson is one of four Wildcats averaging double figure scoring with a team-high 17 ppg with six 3-pointers.
•Junior guard Naba Echols is averaging 15.5 ppg with three 3-pointers and a team-high 11 assists.
•NMU is averaging 81 points per game, while opponents average 73.
•NMU is shooting 47 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3-point range and 73 percent from the free throw line.
•Head coach Bill Sall is in his fifth season with a record of 31-77. He was previously head coach at GLIAC rival Ferris State from 2002-13, recording a mark of 200-222.
SMSU SEVENTH IN D2SIDA REGIONAL POLL
•SMSU is ranked seventh in the first regular season D2SIDA Central Region poll released on Monday.
•Each of the eight regions has six representatives from D2SIDA that coordinate the regional committee, with a regional poll that will be released every Monday during the regular season.
•The D2SIDA weekly rankings are independent of the official NCAA Regional Rankings that will be released towards the end of the regular season and determine the NCAA Tournament teams.
SMSU TRUE “ROAD
WARRIORS” LAST TWO SEASONS
•SMSU is 1-1 away from Marshall this season, including 1-0 in “true” road games.
•SMSU finished 12-3 in “true” road games last season, recording the most road wins in team history.
•SMSU closed the season 19-3 in away/neutral site games setting a new program record. The 2000-01 team that advanced to the Elite Eight held the previous record of 16 away/neutral site victories.
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