The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) Men’s Basketball team dominated on both ends of the floor in an 81-61 win over Concordia-St. Paul in an NSIC game played at Lysaker Gymnasium in Crookston.
Josh Collins (Sr., Minneapolis) scored a lay-up to open the scoring before Brian Sitzmann (Fr., Savage) made a three-pointer giving the Golden Eagles a 5-2 lead. Concordia-St. Paul scored four straight points to take a 6-5 lead before a Harrison Cleary (Jr., Oak Creek, WI) made a jumper to give UMC a 7-6 lead. Following a Golden Bears lay-up, Brian Sitzmann made a pair of free throws followed by a Javier Nicolau (Jr., Castellon, Spain) three-pointer pushing Minnesota Crookston’s lead to 12-8. Harrison Cleary added a three-pointer concluding the 8-0 run forcing the Golden Eagles ahead 15-8. Leading 20-15 with 9:31 left in the first half, Brian Sitzmann scored a lay-up followed by three-pointers from Nicolau and Cleary giving UMC a 28-15 lead. Concordia-St. Paul scored seven straight points to pull within 38-31 with 2:09 left in the first half, before a Chase Knickerbocker (Sr., Annandale) three-pointer gave UMC a 41-31 lead. Knickerbocker connected on another triple to close the first half giving the Golden Eagles a 44-31 halftime lead. “Once we got settled in and our guys started to make some basketball plays, we had a couple of different guys who could score, and we became much harder to guard,” said UMC head coach Dan Weisse. “Our guys did a great job of sharing the ball and playing team basketball. Javier Nicolau had probably his best weekend since he’s been a Golden Eagle and I’m really proud of him. There was unselfishness and guys were sharing the ball, that’s good basketball.”
Malcolm Cohen (Jr., Detroit, MI) made a three-pointer to open the second half and the Golden Eagles were off and running. Javier Nicolau finished a dunk through contact to push UMC’s lead to 50-33 followed by a Cohen three giving the hosts a 53-33 lead. Concordia-St. Paul pulled within 16 after a 6-0 run with 11:25 left in the game, but UMC answered with a 12-0 run to take a 72-44 lead with 7:23 to play. Concordia-St. Paul was unable to string together a sustained offensive run against Minnesota Crookston’s stifling defense as the Golden Eagles closed out an 81-61 win. “Our guys made some shots, and that certainly helps, but we defended as well,” summarized Weisse. “Tonight and as of this weekend, we rebounded probably as well as we have all season. Our transition defense was great, and we just played really good team basketball tonight.”
The Golden Eagles improve to 15-13 overall and 8-10 in the NSIC. Minnesota Crookston returns to the court on Friday when UMC hosts Minot State at 7:30 p.m. Concordia-St. Paul drops to 8-16 overall and 3-15 in conference play.
|Javier Nicolau||17||6||4 blocks|
|Harrison Cleary||11||1||7 assists|
|Josh Collins||2||3||5 assists|