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Strong defense leads SMSU men past Crookston

February 4, 2013
Marshall Independent

The Southwest Minnesota State men's basketball team ramped up the defense and snapped a two-game losing streak with a 63-54 win over Minnesota-Crookston in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game Saturday in Crookston.

The Mustangs (12-11 overall, 9-7 NSIC) held the Golden Eagles to just 32.7 percent shooting, the lowest by an SMSU opponent this season, en route to the win. Crookston (3-17, 0-16) had no players reach double figures in scoring in the loss.

Guard Vinard Birch led a balanced scoring effort for the Mustangs. He had 14 points, while Jordan Miller scored 13, and Matt Zager and Lavione West each chipped in 12.

The Mustangs led 27-25 at halftime and went on a couple of different runs in the second half. They took their largest lead after Zager made a layup with six minutes, 30 seconds left to put his team up 56-46. UMC responded with an 8-2 run to cut the lead to four, but Birch converted a 3-point play and Zager threw down a dunk in the final minute to seal the win for SMSU.

SMSU shot 43 percent from the field for the game and had a 36-33 edge on the boards.

UMC has now lost 17 straight games, and has lost 16 straight in its series with the Mustangs.

Fact Box

SMSU (63)

Matt Zager 5-10 2-4 12, Nick Smith 2-5 0-0 4, Tramel Barnes 1-4 4-6 6, Vinard Birch 4-10 6-7 14, Jordan Miller 4-11 2-4 13, Shaun Condon 0 2-2 2, Lavione West 5-6 2-2 12. Totals 21-49 18-25 63. 3-pointers 3-9 (Miller 3-7) Rebounds 36 (Miller 6, Zager 5, Barnes 5) Assists 7 (Miller 2) Steals 7 (Zager 4) Blocks 3 Turnovers 13 Total Fouls 16.

UMC (54)

James Sparkman 1-6 7-8 9, Brandon Burns 3-9 0-0 9, Broderick Schmidt 1-2 0-2 2, Almir Krdzalic 2-8 4-4 8, Ashton Harrell 3-10 2-4 9, Joseph Moorer 2-2 0-0 4, A.J. Barge 2-3 0-0 5, Justin Rake 3-8 1-1 8. Totals 17-52 14-19 54. 3-pointers 6-14 (Burns 3-5, Harrell 1-1, Barge 1-2, Rake 1-3) Rebounds 33 (Sparkman 11, Schmidt 5, Krdzalic 5) Assists 9 (Krdzalic 6) Steals 7 Blocks 1 Turnovers 15 Total Fouls 21.

Halftime Score: SMSU 27, UMC 25.

The Mustangs open up a four-game homestand Friday against the University of Mary.

 
 

 

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