SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: SMSU runs out of steam at MSU Moorhead, fall 85-78

MOORHEAD – Southwest Minnesota State turned a 20-point first half deficit into a two possession lead with three minutes to play, but MSU Moorhead went on a 9-0 run to earn an 85-78 win over SMSU on Friday night in the Nemzek Fieldhouse.

Ryan Bruggeman had his ninth 20-point game of the season with 26 points, five rebounds and five assists while Michael Lee (15), Carter Kirk (12) and KJ Davis (10) also reached double-figures. Lee finished the night 5 of 5 from deep while Davis also had two timely triples on the night.

Kirk added 12 rebounds to his double digit scoring night for his ninth double-double of the season and helped SMSU to a 32-20 edge in points in the paint.

Southwest Minnesota State and MSU Moorhead had an identical 30 made field goals and nine made three point attempts, but the Mustangs were unable to create enough offense in the final minutes to pull away.

Johnny Beeninga (23) and Travaun Coad (21) each had 20 point nights for the Dragons as MSU Moorhead shot 67 percent as a team in the opening half, opening up a 20 point lead with four minutes to play in the first.

The Mustangs stopped the bleeding before halftime however as Michael Lee hit timely three pointers in the final minutes of the half- Lee would finish the first half with four total threes.

Lee led SMSU with 12 points in the half while Ryan Bruggeman was 3 of 6 over the first 20 minutes with seven points and three rebounds heading into the break.

SMSU suffered from 10 first half turnovers as MSU Moorhead finished the first half with a 10-2 advantage in points off of turnovers.

SMSU used a 13-4 run to cut the Dragons lead to five midway through the second half and later took their first lead of the half at 74-72 on a string of three straight three pointers from Nick DuFault, Davis and Lee.

The two teams were deadlocked at 78-78 with under a minute to play in the second half, but the Dragons were able to pull away with a transition three to take the lead, followed by a series of free throws to clinch the win.

The loss drops SMSU to 14-7 overall and 10-5 in the NSIC on the season as the Mustangs get set to conclude a four-game road stretch in their schedule.

SMSU will cap off this weekend’s road trip with a trip to Northern State tomorrow night beginning at 6 p.m.

Content courtesy of SMSU Athletic Communications