SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: Mustangs travel to North Dakota to face a pair of NSIC North Division squads

Independent file photo SMSU’s Andy Stafford drives into the lane during their game against MSU Mankato on Saturday. The Mustangs will face Minot State and U-Mary this weekend.

MARSHALL — The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team (5-11, 2-8 NSIC) steps out of divisional play this weekend with a pair of road games versus NSIC North Division opponents in the state of North Dakota.

•SMSU will open the weekend on Friday facing Minot State University (6-10, 0-10 NSIC) with game time set for 7:30 p.m. at the Minot State Dome in Minot, N.D.

•On Saturday, SMSU closes the weekend versus the University of Mary (8-8, 3-7 NSIC) with tip-off slated for 5:30 p.m. at the McDowell Activity Center in Bismarck, N.D.

Broadcast info

•Both games 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.


tip-off tidbits

•SMSU is 1-1 versus NSIC North Division teams this season and is a combined 38-20 versus North teams in conference play since divisions were introduced prior to the 2012-13 season.

•SMSU ranks 40th in Division II (Jan. 14) in field goal percentage defense (41.7) and 70th in scoring defense (69.9).

•SMSU dropped a pair of home games last weekend, losing 79-70 to Concordia-St. Paul and 53-46 to Minnesota State.

•SMSU forced CSP and MSU into a combined 32 turnovers which led to 34 points off of turnovers.

•SMSU’s 46 points in last Saturday’s loss to MSU was the first time the Mustangs scored less than 50 points since scoring 48 at UMary on Jan. 14, 2011. It was just the third time in head coach Brad Bigler’s 11-year coaching career that SMSU scored less than 50 points in a game.

•SMSU also shot a season-low 27 percent in the loss to MSU, which marked the first time SMSU shot less than 30 percent in a game since Feb. 26, 2011, versus Minnesota State.

•Kenny Byers scored 21 points with a career-high eight assists, six rebounds and four steals in the loss to CSP. He scored a game-high 23 points in the setback to MSU. Byers has scored 20 or more points in seven straight games heading into this weekend’s games.

•Andy Stafford scored a career-high 15 points with three 3-pointers in Friday’s loss to CSP, while Nick Dufault scored 15 points with three 3-pointers.

•Brian Dayman grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds in the loss to MSU on Saturday.

•Augustana’s 27.9 percent shooting on Jan. 3 was the lowest by an SMSU opponent this season and was the first time an SMSU opponent shot less than 30 percent in a game since Wayne State (28.0) on Dec. 4, 2010.

•Junior Kenny Byers leads the team in scoring (17.9), rebounding (8.1), assists (42), steals (24) and has recorded a team-high seven double-doubles. Byers ranks tied for fifth among all NSIC players with seven 10 or more rebound games this season, while his seven double-doubles ranks fourth among all NSIC players and 18th nationally.

•Junior Nick Dufault, who missed two games in early January with an injury, has connected on a team-high 33 3-pointers and ranks fourth in team history in 3-point field goal pct. (42.3). Dufault also ranks tied for 13th in program history with 126 3-point field goals made. He needs eight more 3-pointers to move into a tie for 12th.

•Freshman Cliff McCray ranks third on the team in scoring (9.8) and second with 28 assists.

•Sophomore Grant Kramer, who ranks third on the team with 24 assists, has missed the last five games due to injury.

•SMSU has outrebounded its opponents just five times through 16 games this season and is minus-0.1 in rebound margin. Last season, SMSU outrebounded its opponent just twice in its last 21 games and finished last in the NSIC in rebound margin (minus-8.5).

•SMSU is shooting 43 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3-point range, 63 percent from the free throw line and is minus-0.1 in rebound margin.

•SMSU is averaging 66 points per game, while opponents are averaging 70 points per game.

Series history

vs. Minot State

•SMSU and Minot State meet for the ninth time on Friday with SMSU winning all eight prior meetings.

•The teams first met on Nov. 26, 2011, in Bemidji.

•SMSU leads 3-0 in games played in Minot, including 74-64 in the last game played on Feb. 3, 2017.

•SMSU won last season’s lone meeting in Marshall, 83-77 on Jan. 18, 2019.

•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 8-0 all-time versus MISU.

Series history

vs. UMary

•SMSU and UMary meet for the 19th time on Saturday with SMSU leading 15-3 in a series that started during the 2005-06 season.

•SMSU leads 5-2 in games played in Bismarck, N.D., including earning a 76-62 victory in the last game played on Feb. 4, 2017.

•SMSU has won the four meetings in the series, including 79-71 last season in Marshall on Jan. 19, 2019.

•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 9-3 all-time versus UMary.

Scouting Minot State

•Minot State is 6-10 overall, 0-10 NSIC, and is currently on a 10-game losing streak after opening the season with six straight victories. The Beavers lost to St. Cloud State (82-65) and Minnesota Duluth (93-69) at home last weekend.

•Senior guard Kyle Beisch is averaging 19.8 ppg and 4.7 rpg, while connecting on a team-high 45 3-pointers.

•Junior forward Kody Dwyer is averaging a team-high 5.4 rpg and scoring 10.5 ppg, while shooting 72 percent from the field.

•Junior guard Max Cody is scoring 16.1 ppg with 22 3-pointers and has dished out 99 assists.

•MISU is shooting 45 percent from the field, 33 percent from 3-point range, 72 percent from the free throw line and is plus-2.2 in rebound margin.

•MISU is averaging 72 points per game, while opponents average 71 points per game.

•Head coach Matt Murken is in his eighth season with an overall record of 101-118. He had a two-year record of 46-16 at the University of Jamestown (2010-12) prior to Minot State.

Scouting UMary

•UMary is 8-8 overall, 3-7 NSIC, heading into Friday’s game versus Sioux Falls. The Marauders split a pair of home games last weekend losing to Minnesota Duluth last Friday 78-54, but rebounded with an 85-80 win over St. Cloud State.

•Junior forward Matthew Kreklow is averaging 15.2 ppg and 8.1 rpg, while shooting 57 percent from the field.

•Senior guard Jaylan White is scoring 12.3 ppg and had recorded a team-high 60 assists.

•UMary has four players who have made 20 or more 3-pointers with junior forward Wyatt Carr making a team-high 24.

•Kreklow and Carr each scored 18 points and combined to shooting 14 of 17 from the field in the win over SCSU.

•UMary is shooting 43 percent from the field, 33 percent from 3-point range, 76 percent from the free throw line and is minus-0.5 in rebound margin.

•UMary is averaging 70 points per game, while opponents average 68 points per game.

•Head coach Joe Kittell is in his fifth season at UMary with a record of 57-75 heading into Friday’s game.

— Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic



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