The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) Men’s Basketball team used dialed-in defense and timely offense in an 80-69 win over Minot State in an NSIC game played at the Minot State Dome.
1st Half –
Javier Nicolau (Sr., Castellon, Spain) opened the first-half scoring with a lay-up giving Minnesota Crookston a 2-0 lead. Brian Sitzmann (R-Soph., Savage) connected on a 3-pointer, increasing the Golden Eagles’ advantage to 5-2 before Ibu Jassey-Demba (Jr., Birmingham, UK) scored a mid-range jumper putting the visitors ahead 7-2. Jassey-Demba and Nicolau connected on back-to-back triples, increasing UMC’s lead to 13-4 with 16:10 to play in the first half. Minot State responded with a 10-0 run taking a 14-13 lead. Tyrese Shines (Fr., La Grange, IL) halted the Beavers run with a lay-up giving UMC a 15-14 lead. Trailing 20-18, Javier Nicolau scored at the rim sparking a 6-0 run giving the Golden Eagles a 24-20 lead. Harrison Cleary scored eight straight points for UMC over two minutes putting Minnesota Crookston in front 32-25 with 4:02 to play in the first half. The Golden Eagles closed the half on an 11-2 run with Malcolm Cohen’s (R-Sr., Detroit, MI) lay-up at the buzzer, giving the visitors a 43-29 halftime lead. “If you look at the last game’s stats against Minot, they look a little bit different than they did tonight,” joked UMC head coach Dan Weisse. “We didn’t let them get catches where they got catches the first night. That’s a credit to Chase Johnson and Javier Nicolau in the post. They did a number on us in the first game from the post, but we really took that away tonight. Brian Sitzmann did a great job keeping Kyle Beisch (Minot State’s top scorer coming into the game) in check. He didn’t play in the first meeting, so it was nice to have him back.”
2nd Half –
Minot State started the second half with a 5-2 spurt, but the Golden Eagles returned the favor with a 6-0 run started with back-to-back baskets from Malcolm Cohen increasing Minnesota Crookston’s lead to 51-34. After Minot State trimmed the deficit down to 51-40 with 13:25 to play, UMC increased its lead to 20 points with a 9-0 run capped off by an impressive finger roll by Zach Westphal (R-Fr., West Fargo, ND) putting the edge at 60-40 with 10:50 remaining. The Golden Eagles reached the bonus with eight minutes to play and missed just two free-throws in the closing minutes preventing Minot State from trimming the deficit under ten points the rest of the night as Minnesota Crookston closed out an 80-69 win. “I was so proud of the overall effort,” summarized Weisse. “This has been a long time coming. It’s been a long couple of weeks. This was a good start to a good road trip. This was as together as we’ve been for a long time. The ball doesn’t have to go in the hole to play great defense and I thought we did that tonight. Everybody contributed tonight. It took all ten guys tonight. Tonight we saw the Crookston team that other teams don’t want to play.”
Minnesota Crookston’s win over Minot State snapped a 16-game losing streak against the Beavers dating back to 2004.
UMC improves to 6-13 in the NSIC and 10-15 overall and will take on the University of Mary on Saturday at 5:30 P.M. You can hear the game on KROX. Minot State falls to 10-15 overall and 4-15 in conference play.
|Harrison Cleary||20||8||4 assists|
|Malcolm Cohen||11||6||3 steals|
|Brian Sitzmann||6||3||4 assists|