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Mustangs clinch home NSIC Tournament game with hard-fought win over Wildcats | News, Sports, Jobs
MARSHALL – The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team clinched a home game in the upcoming Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament earning a hard-fought 67-54 victory over Wayne State College inside the R/A Facility on Saturday afternoon.
SMSU closes the regular season with a 16-11 overall record, including 12-10 in NSIC play. SMSU will be the No. 4 seed from the NSIC South and will host No. 5 seed Minot State from the North Division on Wednesday night at 7:30. SMSU defeated Minot State earlier this season in Minot, N.D., 65-63.
WSC closes the regular season 18-10 overall, 13-9 NSIC, and finishes in a three-way tie atop the NSIC South standings and will be the No. 1 seed from the South Division.
Dunwa Omot led SMSU on Saturday with a team-high 18 points with three 3-pointers, including scoring 10 in the second half. Anthony Costello, playing his final regular season home game, scored 15 points with three 3-pointers. Majok Majouk also scored in double figures for the Mustangs with 13 points with three 3-pointers.
Nick Ferrarini led the Wildcats with a season-high 25 points on 10 of 15 shooting with three 3-pointers. WSC’s leading scorer and rebounder, Jordan Janssen, didn’t play in the game due to injury.
Cliff McCray led the Mustangs with seven rebounds and four assists. SMSU finished the game with a 34-29 rebound advantage.
The game was tight in the opening 12 minutes with the score tied at 19 before SMSU went on a big run to build its largest lead of the half. Omot started the run converting a three-point play, while Costello connected on a pair of 3-pointers and Majouk drilled a 3-pointer in the run to give the Mustangs a 31-20 advantage with 5:21 left in the half.
SMSU struggled however in the final five minutes, scoring just one field goal by Omot with 32 seconds remaining, as WSC cut the deficit to 33-26 at halftime.
SMSU drilled six 3-pointers in the opening half with Costello scoring 13 points with three 3-pointers.
The Mustangs had a pair of nine-point leads in the opening 90 seconds of the second half, but the Wildcats rallied with a 7-0 run to pull to within 37-35 at the 16-minute mark.
Jake Layman made one of two free throws to spark a short SMSU run which included jumpers from Costello and Jakob Braaten to push the lead to 42-35.
SMSU honored its three seniors, Costello, Alex Hillesheim and Sam Schwartz, along with student assistant, Ethan Kirchberg, in a pregame ceremony.
Due to expected poor weather in the Upper Midwest, officials from Southwest Minnesota State University and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference have announced SMSU’s women’s and men’s basketball games in the first round of the NSIC Tournament originally scheduled for Wednesday evening will now be played on Tuesday afternoon inside the R/A Facility.
the SMSU men’s basketball team (No. 4 South) will take on Minot State (No. 5 North) with game time set for 3 p.m.
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