MUSTANG HOOFPRINTS: SMSU sports has break after this weekend’s tilts

Hello Mustang Fans!

Tuesday was the last day of the fall semester for taking finals at Southwest Minnesota State University.

This weekend, SMSU will be hosting athletic events today and Saturday to close the sports portion of the fall semester.

The Mustangs men’s basketball hosts Wisconsin-La Crosse at 7 p.m. today before it plays Sioux Falls in the second game of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader at 4 p.m. Saturday. The SMSU women’s basketball team faces Sioux Falls at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The athletic staff will get a much needed break during the holidays following a very busy fall.

Bigler on ESPN E:60

Southwest Minnesota State men’s basketball head coach Brad Bigler is going to be featured in a story on upcoming episode of ESPN’s E:60.

E:60 will report the agonizing story of Bigler and his family having to deal with the tragic deaths of Brad’s mother, Diane Bigler-Hagenow, in summer 2011 and his son, Drake, in summer 2012.

E:60 is ESPN’s award-winning prime-time newsmagazine that features profiles, investigations and cutting-edge stories on emerging and established sports.

The first airing will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 24 on ESPNU and will air again later that night on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. On Dec. 25, the story will air at 7 a.m. on ESPN2 and at 4 a.m. and 2 p.m. on ESPNEWS. The show will also air on ESPNU on Dec. 27 (4 p.m.), Dec. 29 (10 p.m.) and Dec. 31 (5:30 a.m. and 10 p.m.). The show will be on ESPNEWS on Dec. 29 (10 p.m.), Jan. 1 (12 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.), Jan. 2 (7 a.m.) and Jan. 3 (11 p.m.).

Gold Rush Raffle

The Gold Rush Raffle Committee had its second meeting in preparation for the 11th annual Gold Rush Raffle, hosted by the Mustang Booster Club, which will be held Feb. 14 in the Conference Center Ballroom.

The committee has been brainstorming with the goal of making some subtle enhancements to increase the social and fundraising opportunities of this year’s event. Last year, the Gold Rush Raffle raised a little more that $53,000.

This year, the committee has set a goal of raising more than $75,000 at the event.

All proceeds from the Gold Rush Raffle go to aid the Mustang Booster Club’s effort to support SMSU Athletic Scholarships. Last year, the club contributed $100,000 to athletic scholarships.

One change the committee has made is this year’s Gold Rush Raffle ticket prices, which will increase to $75. The $50 ticket price has been in place for 10 years, and the committee felt it was time to increase the price of the raffle tickets based on inflationary increases of expenses and the value Mustang supporters find in the event and raffle.

Tickets will be available for purchase as of Jan. 1, 2014.

Check the SMSU Athletics website, SMSUmustangs.com, for all the latest information on Mustang athletics and Gold Rush Raffle Tickets information.

This Week in SMSU Athletics

Men’s Basketball

The SMSU men’s basketball team (5-5 overall, 3-2 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) split last weekend’s league road trip by beating Upper Iowa on Friday and losing to Winona State on Saturday.

The Mustangs will play a non-conference game at 7 p.m. today, welcoming Wisconsin-La Crosse (7-1) to the R/A Facility.

At 4 p.m. Saturday, SMSU will host Sioux Falls (5-4, 2-3 NSIC) in the final league contest before winter break.

At halftime of the men’s basketball game Saturday, Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance at the R/A Facility. This is a great opportunity for your family to come out and support the Mustangs and have your children talk to Santa Claus and have a picture taken with him. Santa will also have treats to hand out for children of all ages.

Women’s Basketball

The SMSU women’s basketball team (2-7, NSIC 0-5) is coming off a pair of road losses at Upper Iowa and at Winona State last weekend.

The Mustangs welcome Sioux Falls (5-4, 1-4 NSIC) to the R/A Facility at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Both the SMSU men’s and women’s basketball teams will be back in action Jan. 3-4, hosting Northern State and Minnesota State-Moorhead in a pair of NSIC contests.

I would like to wish our SMSU men’s and women’s basketball teams the best of luck this weekend!


The Mustang wrestling team (3-2 in dual meets) beat St. John’s 22-13 in a non-conference dual last Friday in Collegeville.

On Saturday, several SMSU wrestlers competed in the Holiday Inn/Husky Open hosted by St. Cloud State University. Three Mustangs placed in the tournament. Justin Reinsma and Andrew Rodas had fourth-place finishes, while Micah Larson placed sixth.

SMSU’s next competition will be a home NSIC dual versus Minot State at 4 p.m. Jan. 11 at P.E. Gym.

Wheelchair Basketball

The SMSU wheelchair basketball team went 3-1 last weekend in Lincoln, Neb.

The Mustangs suffered their only loss of the Lincoln Tournament in Game 1, losing 50-34 to the Madonna Magic. Then, SMSU won three straight games against Sioux Falls 53-47, the Timberwolves 52-38 and Iowa 45-24.

Southwest Minnesota State is idle until Jan. 17-18 when it travels to Urbana-Champaign, Ill., to compete in the University of Illinois Tournament.

I would also like to wish everyone safe travels during the holiday season and have a Merry Christmas!

Go Mustangs!

Trivia Contest

Congratulations to Larry Hildebrandt, who provided the correct answer to last week’s Mustang Hoofprints Trivia Question: What SMSU Women’s Basketball player was an All American two different years during her career?

Lillie Brown earned All-American status as a Mustang women’s basketball player in 1994-95 and 1995-96.

Trivia Question

Learfield Sports sponsors the Director’s Cup Award each year in NCAA?Divisions I, II, and III in support of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The Director’s Cup is a program that honors institutions for maintaining a broad-based program and achieve success in both women’s and men’s sports. Following the fall sports season, where does SMSU rank out of the 311 members competing at the NCAA Division II level?

The first person to email me at MustangHoofPrints@SMSU.edu with the correct answer to this question will receive an SMSU T-shirt.