SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: Mustangs conclude non-conference play hosting Crown College tonight
MARSHALL – The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team (3-2) concludes non-conference play tonight hosting Division III Crown College (1-2) with tip-off set for 7 p.m. at the R/A Facility.
•SMSU is on a two-game winning streak after beating Michigan Tech 62-55 on Friday night and Northern Michigan 85-78 on Saturday afternoon. Both games were played in Moorhead.
•Crown College, located in St. Bonifacius, is a member of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC).
•Following today’s game, SMSU will open Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play on Saturday night at the University of Sioux Falls.
•All SMSU games will be broadcast all season on 105.1 FM KARL.
•Live stats and video can be found at SMSUmustangs.com.
SERIES HISTORY VS. CROWN
•Southwest Minnesota State and Crown meet for the third time on Tuesday with SMSU leading 2-0.
•Both games were played in Marshall with SMSU earning a 101-50 victory during the 1997-98 season and an 84-44 victory during the 1998-99 season.
•SMSU is 49-40 all-time versus current members of the UMAC. A majority of the games came against Minnesota-Morris (41-37) when UMM and SMSU were members of the NSIC from 1969-2003.
•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler has never faced Crown College.
SMSU WINS A PAIR OF GAMES IN MOORHEAD
•SMSU picked up a pair of victories last weekend in Moorhead, defeating Michigan Tech, 65-52, before earning an 85-78 victory over Northern Michigan.
•SMSU limited MTU to 24 percent shooting in the final half, while SMSU shot 50 percent in the second half.
•Ryan Bruggeman led the Mustangs with a game-high 17 points on 7 of 14 shooting. He also recorded five steals, four rebounds and three assists.
•Taylor Schafer poured in 13 points with three 3-pointers, while Nick Dufault scored a career-high 11 points on 5 of 8 shooting.
•SMSU finished the game shooting 46 percent (25 of 55), which included 8 of 22 from 3-point range. SMSU closed the game with a 34-28 rebound advantage with Turner Moen and Carter Kirk each pulling down seven rebounds for the Mustangs.
•In the win over NMU, Ryan Bruggeman scored 20 points while Carter Kirk added 17 points and 17 rebounds.
•Both Bruggeman and Kirk were named to the five-person all-tournament team.
•Turner Moen (14) and KJ Davis (10) both scored double figures as well to aid the Mustang offense. Davis also dished out a team-high four assists and added two steals.
•SMSU finished the game making 33 of 41 free throws, while NMU was 6 of 7 from the foul line.
•SMSU is 3-2 overall this season.
•SMSU has two players averaging double figure scoring this season.
•Carter Kirk leads the team with 15.6 ppg and a team-high 9.2 rpg.
•Ryan Bruggeman is averaging 15.4 ppg with a team-high 23 assists.
•KJ Davis is scoring 9.8 ppg with four 3-pointers.
•Michael Lee has made a team-leading nine 3-pointers while Taylor Schafer has connected on seven 3-pointers.
•SMSU averaging 71 points per game, while opponents are average 72.
•SMSU is shooting 46 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3-point range and 72 percent from the free throw line.
MUSTANG TIP-OFF TIDBITS
•Ryan Bruggeman leads all NSIC players with 2.8 steals per game through five games.
•Carter Kirk is second in the NSIC in non-conference games with 9.2 rebounds per game.
•SMSU made 33 free throws in the win over Northern Michigan on Saturday. It was the first time SMSU made more than 30 in a game since connecting on 33 versus Wayne State on Dec. 7, 2013.
•SMSU limited Michigan Tech to just 15 points in the second half last Friday. 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.
•Carter Kirk’s 17 rebounds versus Northern Michigan was the highest total by an SMSU player since Scott Roehl had 18 versus Minnesota State on Feb. 26, 2011.
•Carter Kirk ranks first in school history in career field goal pct. (58.0).
•Ryan Bruggeman has moved into 10th in school history with 239 free throws made.
•Bruggeman ranks fourth in team history with 315 assists. He is six shy of tying Jordan Miller (2009-13) for third all-time with 321. Andrew Peschong (2006-10) is second with 342, while Vinard Birch (2010-14) is the all-time leader with 396.
•Taylor Schafer ranks 12th in team history with 122 3-pointers made.
•SMSU shot just 29.6 percent from the field in the second half in the loss to Fort Hays State in the season opener. It was the first time SMSU shot less than 30 percent in a half since Nov. 29, 2016, versus Sioux Falls.
•SMSU finished 26-3 last season when committing 15 or fewer turnovers, but 2-3 when committing more than 15.
SCOUTING CROWN COLLEGE
•Crown College is 1-2 on the season.
•The Storm lost to UW-Stout (79-75) and Wartburg (91-88), before earning a 93-61 victory over Iowa Wesleyan this past Saturday.
•Crown was picked to finish fifth in the nine-team UMAC preseason poll.
•Sophomore forward Timothy Wendel is one of three Storm players averaging double figure scoring with a team-high 20 ppg with 10 3-pointers. He also leads the team with 7.3 rpg.
•Senior center Austin VanDerHeyden is averaging 14.3 ppg and 6.0 rpg.
•Junior forward Josh Volness is averaging 14 ppg with 10 3-pointers.
•Crown is averaging 85 points per game, while opponents average 77.
•Crown is shooting 49 percent from the field, 41 percent from 3-point range and 70 percent from the free throw line.
•Head coach Luke Herbert is in his eighth season.
SMSU DROPS OUT OF D2SIDA
•SMSU was not ranked among the top 10 in the second regular season 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.
SMSU RANKED IN THREE PRESEASON POLLS
•SMSU opened the regular season ranked in three separate preseason polls.
•SMSU was ranked No. 15 by the NABC, No. 14 by D2Bulletin and No. 13 in the D2SIDA poll.
•SMSU closed the 2016-17 regular season ranked No. 18 in the final NABC Top 25 poll.
SMSU TRUE “ROAD WARRIORS” LAST TWO SEASONS
•SMSU is 3-1 away from Marshall this season, including 1-0 in “true” road games and 2-0 in neutral site games.
•SMSU finished 12-3 in “true” road games last season, recording the most road wins in team history.
•SMSU closed the season 19-3 in away/neutral site games setting a new program record. The 2000-01 team that advanced to the Elite Eight held the previous record of 16 away/neutral site victories.
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