SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: Mustangs ready for big matchups versus top NSIC North Division teams
MARSHALL – The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team (13-8, 8-8 NSIC), winners of three in a row and five of its last six, hit the road for a pair of games this Friday and Saturday versus two of top teams in the NSIC North Division standings.
•SMSU will take on Minnesota State Moorhead (16-8, 10-6 NSIC) on Friday, at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse in Moorhead with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.
•SMSU concludes the weekend with a 6 p.m. matchup versus Northern State University (17-5, 13-3 NSIC) on Saturday, at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen, S.D.
•SMSU begins the weekend in fifth place in the NSIC South standings, while MSUM is third and NSU is in first place in the North Division standings.
•SMSU has a 5-1 record versus the NSIC North Division this season and are a combined 37-17 versus North teams in conference play since divisions were introduced prior to the start of the 2012-13 season.
•Both games will be broadcast on 105.1 FM KARL.
•Live stats and video can be found at SMSUmustangs.com.
Series history vs. MSU Moorhead
•SMSU and MSU Moorhead meet for the 103rd time on Friday with MSUM leading 58-44.
•The first meeting came during the 1968-69 season.
•MSUM leads 32-15 all-time in games played in Moorhead, including winning the last three. SMSU’s last victory in Moorhead came on Jan. 19, 2013.
•MSUM has won eight of the last 13 games since the 2009-10 season.
•MSUM won last season’s lone meeting, 85-78 in Moorhead.
•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 5-8 all-time versus MSUM.
Series history vs. Northern State
•SMSU and Northern State meet for the 95th time on Saturday with NSU leading 63-31.
•NSU leads 35-10 in games played in Aberdeen, but SMSU has won the last two games, including 64-57 last season.
•NSU has won seven the last 10 meetings overall since the 2014-15 season.
•The teams played three times last season with NSU winning twice. NSU won 81-68 in a non-conference game in Marshall, before SMSU earned a 64-57 NSIC win in Aberdeen. NSU then earned an 81-75 victory in the NSIC Tournament championships game in Sioux Falls, S.D.
•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 8-8 all-time versus NSU.
Scouting MSU Moorhead
•The Dragons (16-8, 10-6 NSIC) split two road games last weekend, losing 88-87 to Minnesota State, before earning a 102-90 victory at Concordia-St. Paul.
•MSUM, which has won nine of its last 12 games, has five players averaging double figures in scoring.
•Senior forward Addison Park is averaging a team-high 15.8 ppg, while shooting 58 percent from the field.
•Freshman guard Gavin Baumgartner is scoring 14.7 ppg and has connected on 51 3-pointers.
•Senior guard Travaun Coad leads the team with 5.5 rpg and is scoring 14.5 ppg.
•MSUM is shooting 51 percent from the field, 41 percent from 3-point range, 76 percent from the free throw line and is plus-0.9 in rebound margin.
•Chad Walthall is in his ninth season as head coach with a record of 188-87. He was the head coach at Loras College (Iowa) from 2000-07.
•NSU (17-5, 13-3 NSIC), which plays host to Sioux Falls on Friday, has won eight of 10 since Jan. 4 and won at Concordia-St. Paul (90-79) and at Minnesota State (88-80) last weekend.
•Senior guard Ian Smith leads the team averaging 13.9 ppg and also has a team-high 109 assists.
•Senior forward Justin Decker and redshirt freshman Parker Fox both average 11 ppg.
•Sophomore guard Andrew Kallman has connected on a team-high 40 3-pointers.
•NSU is shooting 49 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3-point range, 74 percent from the free throw line and is plus-7.5 in rebound margin.
•Head coach Paul Sather is in his ninth season with a record of 179-87. He compiled a record of 94-62 in five seasons as head coach at Black Hills State (2005-10).
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