SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: SMSU faces St. Cloud State in semis of NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament today
MARSHALL – The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team (23-7), currently riding a season-high nine-game winning streak, faces St. Cloud State (23-7) in the semifinals of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament today with tip-off set for 2:30 p.m. at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
•SMSU is the No. 1 seed from the South Division, while SCSU is the No. 2 seed from the North Division.
•SMSU advanced to today’s game with a 79-64 win over Augustana on Saturday night, while SCSU earned an 67-56 victory over Sioux Falls.
•The winner of today’s game will advance to the championship game on Tuesday to face either Northern State or Minnesota State at 5 p.m.
SMSU IN THE NSIC TOURNAMENT
•Since the NSIC Tournament started in 2000, SMSU is 22-15 all-time entering Monday’s game with two championships (2012 & 2017).
•SMSU has now advanced to the semifinals 11 times and have played in seven championship games (2001, 2002, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017).
NINE-GAME ……………….WINNING STREAK THIRD LONGEST
•SMSU’s current nine-game winning streak is the third longest in team history and the longest since the 2008-09 NCAA Elite Eight team won 15 straight.
•The 2000-01 team that also advanced to the Elite Eight holds the program record with 17 consecutive victories.
SERIES HISTORY VS. ST. CLOUD STATE
•Southwest Minnesota State and St. Cloud State meet for the 62nd time on Monday with SCSU leading 40-21.
•The two teams first met during the 1969-70 season.
•SMSU has won the past two games, including 82-59 earlier this season in St. Cloud on Dec. 9.
•The two teams have met twice in the NSIC Tournament with SCSU winning both games, including 68-67 in the 2010 championship game in St. Cloud.
•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 5-9 all-time versus SCSU.
THIS SEASON VERSUS ST. CLOUD STATE
•Carter Kirk scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help SMSU earn a convincing 82-59 road victory over St. Cloud State on Dec. 9.
•SMSU used a balanced scoring attack in the win with five players scoring in double figures.
•Ryan Bruggeman picked up a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists, while Michael Lee added 11 points with three 3-pointers.
•Nick Dufault scored 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting with a pair of 3-pointers, while Kenny Byers added 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting with a pair of 3-pointers.
•SCSU, which had its four-game winning streak snapped, shot 39 percent (22 of 56) which included 7 of 15 on 3-pointers. The Huskies were led by Brindley Theisen’s 13 points.
SCOUTING ST. CLOUD STATE
•St. Cloud State is 23-7 overall and finished second in the NSIC North with a 17-5 record.
•The Huskies advanced to the semifinals with an 67-56 win over Sioux Falls on Saturday night. Gage Davis poured in 18 points and had 11 rebounds to pace the Huskies.
•Gage Davis, a 2018 first team All-NSIC honoree, leads the team averaging 19 ppg with 43 3-pointers and 7.6 rebounds per game.
•Jon Averkamp, also a 2018 first team All-NSIC selection, is averaging 17.5 ppg and shooting 62 percent from the field.
•Brindley Theisen has connected on a team-high 82 3-pointers and is averaging 13.4 ppg.
•SCSU is shooting 50 percent from the field, 39 percent from 3-point range, 72 percent from the free throw line and is plus-3.0 in rebound margin.
•SCSU is scoring 79 points per game, while opponents are averaging 68 per game.
•Head coach Matt Reimer is in his fourth season with a record of 73-49.
Content courtesy of SMSU Athletic Communications