SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: SMSU returns to face Minot State Friday, U-Mary Saturday for “Hawaiian Night”

Independent file photo SMSU’s Ryan Bruggeman puts up a layup during their “Hawaiian Night” game against Northern State University in January 2017. SMSU will square off against Minot State University and the University of Mary this weekend.

MARSHALL – The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team (15-7, 11-5 NSIC) returns home from a four-game road trip facing a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division teams at the R/A Facility in Marshall.

•SMSU will face Minot State University (17-5, 11-5 NSIC) on Friday, Feb. 2, with tip-off set for 8 p.m.

•SMSU concludes the weekend with a 7 p.m. match-up versus the University of Mary (5-15, 3-13 NSIC) on Saturday, Feb. 3, for the annual “Hawaiian Night” game.

•SMSU begins the weekend in second place in the NSIC South Division standings and tied for fourth place overall.

•MSU opens the weekend in third place in the NSIC North standings and tied for fourth overall, while U-Mary is eighth in the North standings and tied for 15th overall.

•SMSU is 5-1 versus teams from the NSIC North Division in conference play this season and are a combined 30-16 versus North teams in conference play since divisions were introduced prior to the 2012-13 season.

•This weekend will be SMSU’s final two games versus NSIC North Division teams during the regular season.

BROADCAST INFO

•All SMSU games will be broadcast all season on 105.1 FM KARL.

•Live statistics and video can be found at SMSUmustangs.com.

SERIES HISTORY VS. MINOT STATE

•Southwest Minnesota State and Minot State meet for the seventh time with SMSU leading 6-0.

•The teams first met during the 2011-12 season.

•Five of SMSU’s victories have been NSIC games.

•SMSU leads 2-0 all-time in games played in Marshall, including the last match-up, 86-84, on Dec. 12, 2015.

•SMSU won 74-64 last season in Minot, N.D., on Feb. 3, 2017.

•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 6-0 all-time versus MISU.

SERIES HISTORY VS. U-MARY

•Southwest Minnesota State and U-Mary meet for the 16th time on Saturday with SMSU leading 12-3.

•SMSU leads 7-1 all-time in games played in Marshall, with U-Mary’s lone victory coming in the last game played in Marshall, 91-82, on Dec. 11, 2015.

•SMSU won last season’s game in Bismarck, N.D., 76-62, on Feb. 4, 2017.

•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 6-3 all-time versus U-Mary.

TOUGHEST

SCHEDULE

IN THE NSIC

•SMSU has played a strong schedule this season and the latest NCAA statistical numbers back it up.

•SMSU has played the 53rd toughest schedule in Division II and the toughest among all NSIC schools as of Monday, Jan. 29.

•SMSU’s Division II opponents have a combined record of 211-175 (not including games with SMSU).

WINS VERSUS

NATIONALLY RANKED TEAMS

•SMSU defeated No. 7 (D2SIDA)/No. 12 (NABC) Northern State last Saturday night, 64-57, in Aberdeen, S.D.

•The victory was SMSU’s third win over a ranked team in the last two seasons.

•SMSU beat No. 21 (NABC) MSU Moorhead and No. 16 Augustana (D2SIDA) last season.

•Prior to Saturday, SMSU’s last victory over a Top 10 team was on March 3, 2010, at No. 8 (NABC) Minnesota State in the quarterfinals of the NSIC Tournament.

SMSU 9TH IN D2SIDA REGIONAL POLL

•SMSU is ranked ninth in this week’s 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.

MUSTANG

TIP-OFF TIDBITS

•Carter Kirk’s 769 career rebounds rank 11th among active players in Division II.

•SMSU scored a season-low 64 points in the win at Northern State last Saturday.

•Saturday’s win at Northern State was the fourth time this season SMSU held an opponent to less than 60 points.

•SMSU tied a season-high with 11 steals at Concordia-St. Paul on Jan. 19.

•SMSU is 13-2 when opponents shoot less than 50 percent.

•Ryan Bruggeman made 11 field goals at MSU Moorhead last Friday, which is the highest by a Mustang player this season.

•Taylor Schafer ranks 10th in team history with 148 3-pointers.

•Carter Kirk ranks first in school history in field goal pct., third in rebounds, sixth in blocked shots and 12th in field goals made.

•SMSU has shot 50 percent or higher in eight games this season. A season ago, SMSU shot 50 percent or higher in 15 games.

•SMSU has made eight or more 3-pointers in nine of its last 12 games.

•SMSU tied a season-high with 14 3-pointers (including 11 in the second half) in the win at Upper Iowa on Jan. 6.

•SMSU has committed nine or less turnovers in seven games.

•SMSU’s 116 points versus Crown College on Nov. 21 was the second highest point total in school history.

•SMSU limited Michigan Tech to just 15 points in the second half on Nov. 17. It was the first time SMSU has held an opponent to less than 20 points in a half since Feb. 8, 2014, when Concordia-St. Paul scored 17 first half points.

SCOUTING

MINOT STATE

•MSU is 17-5 overall, 11-5 NSIC, and has lost three of four, including twice last weekend at home versus Winona State (70-65) and Upper Iowa (99-89).

•Tyler Rudolph, who became the program’s all-time scoring leader in Saturday’s loss to UIU, leads the team averaging 21.8 ppg with 36 3-pointers and averaging 7.2 rpg. Rudolph has scored 1,836 career points, while his 849 career rebounds rank seventh among active players in Division II.

•Rudolph ranks third in Division II with 188 field goals made and 26th in scoring.

•David Akibo is scoring 12.6 ppg and averages 7.3 rpg.

•Luis Ricci Maia is averaging 12.3 ppg and leads the team with 140 assists, which ranks seventh in Division II.

•MSU is shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range, 78 percent from the free throw line and is plus-3.7 in rebound margin.

•MSU is scoring 80 points per game, while opponents are averaging 71 per game.

•Matt Murken is in his sixth season as head coach with a record of 78-85. He was the head coach at Jamestown College from 2010-12.

SCOUTING U-MARY

•U-Mary is 5-15 overall, 3-13 NSIC, following home losses to Upper Iowa (92-86, OT) and Winona State (71-62) last weekend.

•U-Mary plays at Sioux Falls on Friday prior to facing SMSU.

•Keith Hunter is averaging a team-high 15.2 ppg with 38 3-pointers. He scored a career-high 30 points versus WSU last Saturday.

•Trevor Zacher is scoring 11.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg, while connecting on 33 3-pointers.

•Javian White is averaging 9.4 ppg with a team-high 76 assists.

•U-Mary is shooting 46 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3-point range, 73 percent from the free throw line and is minus-4.2 in rebound margin.

•U-Mary is scoring 72 points per game, while opponents are averaging 78 per game.

•Head coach Joe Kittell is in his third season with a record of 36-44.

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