SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: SMSU faces Augustana tonight in quarterfinals of NSIC Tournament
MARSHALL – The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team (22-7), currently riding a season-high eight-game winning streak, takes on Augustana University (16-13) in the quarterfinals of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament tonight with tip-off set for 5:30 p.m. at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
•SMSU is the No. 1 seed from the South Division, while Augustana is the No. 5 seed from the South Division.
•SMSU advanced to Saturday’s game with a 78-73 home win over U-Mary on Wednesday, while Augustana earned an 88-72 home victory over Bemidji State.
•The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to the semifinals on Monday to face either St. Cloud State or Sioux Falls at 2:30 p.m.
SMSU 4TH IN
•SMSU is ranked fourth in the second NCAA Central Region poll released on Wednesday.
•SMSU was sixth in the first weekly ranking on Feb. 14.
•The final weekly ranking will occur on Feb. 28.
•The 64-team NCAA tournament will be announced on March 4.
•Since the NSIC Tournament started in 2000, SMSU enters Saturday’s game 21-15 all-time with two championships (2012 & 2017).
•The Mustangs are 10-2 at home, 1-7 on the road and 10-6 in neutral sites games.
•SMSU has advanced to the semifinals 10 times and have played in seven championship games (2001, 2002, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017).
20-WIN SEASONS IN TEAM HISTORY
•SMSU secured its second straight 20-win season and sixth in team history last weekend.
•The last time SMSU won 20 or more games in back-to-back seasons came during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 campaigns.
•SMSU has a combined 50 victories the last two seasons which is the best two-year combined wins total in team history.
•Seniors Turner Moen and Carter Kirk are both tied for seventh in team history with 119 games played.
•During it’s current eight-game winning streak, SMSU has committed 10 or less turnovers in six games.
•SMSU has made eight or more 3-pointers in 15 of its last 19 games.
•SMSU has committed nine or less turnovers in 11 games this season.
•SMSU tied a season-low with just two turnovers in the win versus Concordia-St. Paul last Saturday.
•SMSU is shooting 48.7 percent from the field this season which ranks tied for fifth highest in team history. Seven of the top nine shooting teams in team history have come under head coach Brad Bigler.
•Carter Kirk’s 842 career rebounds rank 11th among active players in Division II. He currently ranks second in SMSU history behind Frank Belmont (1971-75), who recorded 848.
•Ryan Bruggeman’s 465 career assists currently ranks 15th among all active Division II players.
•Ryan Bruggeman’s 173 assists this season is the second highest single-season total in team history. His 6.0 assists per game is the highest single-season average in team history. Marques Pena holds the record with 185 in 2000-01.
•Ryan Bruggeman has made 142 free throws this season and is just six away from tying Scott Koenen (2000-01) for the program single-season record for free throws made with 148.
•SMSU finished with 12 home victories this season. It’s the first time since 2013-14 that SMSU has reached double figures in home wins.
•SMSU is 18-2 when opponents shoot less than 50 percent from the field.
•SMSU has shot 50 percent or higher in 10 games this season. Last season, SMSU shot 50 percent or higher in 15 games.
SERIES HISTORY VS. AUGUSTANA
•Southwest Minnesota State and Augustana meet for the 35th time with Augustana leading 20-14.
•The two teams first met during the 1972-73 season.
•This will be the second straight season the two teams have met in the NSIC Tournament. SMSU won last season’s game, 97-89 in double overtime.
•The teams split two games this season with Augustana winning in Marshall, 89-78 on Dec. 30, while SMSU won on Feb. 10 in Sioux Falls, S.D., 81-77.
•Augustana has scored 89 or more points in seven of the last nine games in the series.
•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 7-11 all-time versus Augustana.
•Augustana earned an 89-78 victory in Marshall on Dec. 30.
•John Warren scored a team-high 19 points with six assists to pace the Vikings.
•Jordan Spencer added 17 points and 11 assists.
•Carter Kirk led the Mustangs with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
•SMSU returned the favor with an 81-77 victory in Sioux Falls on Feb. 10.
•Augustana is 16-13 overall and finished fifth in the NSIC South with a 10-12 record.
•The Vikings advanced to the quarterfinals with an 88-72 win over Bemidji State on Wednesday night. Jordan Spencer poured in 21 points with 10 assists, while John Warren added 20 points with five 3-pointers.
•Jordan Spencer leads the team averaging 15.7 ppg with 65 3-pointers and a team-high 223 assists.
•John Warren is averaging 14.1 ppg with 61 3-pointers, while leading the squad with 44 steals.
•Augustana is shooting 47 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range, 76 percent from the free throw line and is plus-3.1 in rebound margin.
•Head coach Tom Billeter is in his 15th season with a record of 287-165. He has a career record of 385-215 in 20 seasons as a head coach (North Dakota State, 1992-97).
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