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SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: SMSU opens NSIC schedule on Saturday night at Sioux Falls

Independent file photo SMSU’s Grant Kramer drives past a University of Minnesota Morris defender during their game on Friday. The Mustangs will begin conference play this Saturday against the University of Sioux Falls.

MARSHALL — The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team (3-3, 0-0 NSIC) opens Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play this Saturday, at the University of Sioux Falls (4-1, 0-0 NSIC). Game time is 7 p.m. at the Stewart Center.

•Saturday will begin SMSU’s 51st collegiate basketball season in the NSIC with the Mustangs holding a 371-397 all-time record in conference games.

•SMSU, which won the NSIC South Division title in both 2016-17 and 2017-18, finished fifth in the division last season, but won three games in the NSIC Tournament to advance to the championship game for a third straight season.

Broadcast info

•Saturday’s game will be broadcast on 105.1 FM KARL with Ryan Rohlik providing play-by-play.

•Live stats, radio broadcast and video can be found at SMSUmustangs. com.

Series history vs.

Sioux Falls

•SMSU and Sioux Falls meet for the 34th time Saturday with SMSU leading 21-12 in a series that started in 1968-69.

•SMSU holds an 8-6 advantage in conference games since USF joined the NSIC in 2012-13.

•USF leads the series 11-5 in games played at USF, but SMSU won last season’s game at the Stewart Center, 79-75.

•SMSU has won six of the last eight games since Dec. 19, 2015. The teams split last season with USF winning, 94-72 in Marshall on Dec. 1, before SMSU won at USF on Dec. 30.

•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 9-6 all-time versus Sioux Falls.

Mustang tip-off

tidbits

•Junior Kenny Byers leads the team in both scoring (13.8) and rebounding (8.3) and has recorded a team-high three double-doubles this season.

•SMSU has six players averaging 7.7 points or more per game.

•Sophomore Grant Kramer has dished out a team-high 19 assists.

•Junior Nick Dufault has connected on a team-high 10 3-pointers. He ranks fourth in team history in 3-point field goal pct. (42.6).

•Junior Weston Baker Magrath scored a season-high 18 points on 8 of 10 shooting in the win over Minnesota Morris on Nov. 22.

•SMSU shot as season-high 56 percent from the field, including 72 percent in the second half, in the win over UMM. The 82 points scored was also a season-high.

•SMSU set a team record last season shooting 81.3 percent from the free throw line, but is shooting just 57 percent following six games this season.

•SMSU has outrebounded its opponents three through six games this season. Last season, SMSU outrebounded its opponent just twice in its last 21 games and finished last in the NSIC in rebound margin (-8.5).

•SMSU has held a plus-15 rebound advantage in two games this season (+17 at Central Missouri and +19 versus Minnesota Morris).

•SMSU is shooting 46 percent from the field, 35 percent from 3-point range, 57 percent from the free throw line and is plus-5.7 in rebound margin.

•SMSU is averaging 69 points per game, while opponents are averaging 67 points per game.

Scouting Sioux Falls

•USF is 4-1 on the season and welcomes Minnesota Crookston to the Stewart Center on Tuesday for a non-conference game.

•The Cougars enter Tuesday having won three straight, including 62-59 over Chadron State last Friday and CSU-Pueblo, 77-70, last Saturday in Aberdeen, S.D.

•Junior forward Teathloach Pal is averaging 13.8 ppg and 11.4 rpg, while shooting 60 percent from the field.

•Junior forward Austin Slater is scoring 13.4 ppg and has made 27 of 38 from the free throw line.

•Sophomore guard Chase Grinde has a team-high 16 assists and is scoring 9.4 ppg.

•Head coach Chris Johnson is in his 12th season at USF with a record of 199-144. He is the program’s all-time leader in victories.

•USF is shooting 42 percent from the field, 24 percent from 3-point range, 71 percent from the free throw line and is plus-8.4 in rebound margin.

•USF is averaging 66 points per game, while opponents average 61 points per game.

SMSU in the 2019-20 NCAA statistics

•SMSU ranks 31st in turnovers per game and 58th in scoring defense.

•Weston Baker Magrath is ranked 19th in blocked shots and 24th in blocked shots per game.

•Kenny Byers ranks 18th with three double-doubles.

SMSU in the 2019-20

NSIC statistics

•Kenny Byers ranks sixth in rebounding and seventh in steals.

•Weston Baker Magrath is second in blocked shots.

— Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic

Communications

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