SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: Mustangs back in the win column with road victory over Beavers

Photo courtesy of Sean Arbaut/Minot State Athletic Communications SMSU’s Braedan Hanson drives into the lane during their game against Minot State University on Friday.

MINOT, N.D. – Southwest Minnesota State built a 13-point halftime lead and used a career-high 18 points from redshirt freshman Jake Phipps to hold on and earn a 61-57 road victory over Minot State on in NSIC men’s basketball on Friday night inside the Minot Dome.

Kenny Byers, who leads SMSU in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals on the season, added 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting, while also grabbing five rebounds, five assists and four steals.

SMSU, which shot 57 percent from the field, improves to 6-11 overall, 3-8 NSIC, and is now 9-0 all-time versus Minot State. The Beavers, which opened the season with six straight victories, dropped its 11th game in a row and is now 6-11 overall, 0-11 NSIC.

SMSU made just 2 of 11 from 3-point range and was outrebounded 33-24, including giving up 16 offensive rebounds to MISU. It was the second straight game SMSU was held to a pair of 3-pointers.

The Mustangs took their first lead of the game with 13 minutes left in the first half and never trailed again in building a double-digit halftime edge. SMSU built the lead behind 65 percent shooting in the half, while limiting MISU to just 22 percent shooting.

Trailing early at 7-5, Andy Stafford tied the game with a field goal for SMSU and was followed by back-to-back baskets from Weston Baker Magrath to give the Mustangs their first lead of the game.

Leading 19-17 with just under eight minutes left in the half, Phipps help start a 12-1 run by the Mustangs to close the half and build a 33-18 halftime edge. SMSU was 6 of 7 shooting in the final 7:30 minutes with three field goals by Phipps. MISU was 0 of 8, including missing five 3-pointers during the stretch to end the half.

Baker Magrath converted a three-point play to push the lead to 36-22 early in the second half, before MISU rallied to cut the deficit to 42-35 midway through the half. Stafford would hit SMSU’s only 3-pointer of the half with 7:19 left to give SMSU a 50-37 advantage, but the Beavers started to connect from 3-point range to cut into the lead.

MISU shot 56 percent in the second half and made six 3-pointers to cut the SMSU lead to 56-51 with three minutes remaining in the game, but Phipps made his final field goal of the game at the 1:46 mark to give SMSU a 58-51 lead.

MISU would hit three free throws and also made a 3-pointer, while SMSU went 1 of 3 from the free throw line with less than a minute left, to trim the deficit to 59-57 with 30 seconds on the clock. Byers then came through with a pair of clutch free throws to stop the run and give SMSU a 61-57 lead and eventually seal the win.

Brian Dayman, Cliff McCray, Braedan Hanson and Phipps all added four rebounds for the Mustangs.

Minot State was led by Trevor Rothstein and Kyle Beisch, who both scored 13 points. The Beavers finished the game shooting 37 percent (20 of 54) from the field.

Southwest Minnesota State returns to action today at the University of Mary with tip-off slated for 5:30 p.m. in Bismarck, N.D. UMary lost 59-53 at home to NSIC-leading Sioux Falls on Friday night.

— Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic



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