No. 3 Marshall boys’ basketball team tops Spuds

Thanks to a balanced effort, the Marshall boys’ basketball team was able to overcome a standout performance by Moorhead forward Aaron Lien Saturday to come away with a 70-59 road win over the Spuds and extend its winning streak to 12 games.

Lien, a 6-foot-5 senior, had 27 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals for the Class AAAA Spuds, but Marshall had five players score nine or more points on their way to victory.

The Tigers (23-2 overall), who are ranked third in Class AAA, have one final game left in the regular season, a make-up game Friday at New Ulm. Moorhead has a 14-8 record and has lost three of its last four following a season-high six-game winning streak.

Senior guard Austin Saugstad led Marshall with 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting, earning most of his points by getting to the rim. He also had seven rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Riley Sharbono added 12 points and eight rebounds, Derek Buysse had 12 points and seven boards, and Tanner Bukowski scored 11 points and hauled in seven rebounds.

The Tigers controlled the boards Saturday, holding a 45-30 edge on the glass.

Marshall got off to a hot start in the game, shooting 53.5 percent in the first half as they grabbed a 37-27 lead going into the locker room.

“The guys did a good job sharing the basketball and attacking the rim,” Marshall head coach Travis Carroll said. “We were able to get some pretty high-percentage shots. Moorhead did some different things defensively and forced us away from some of the things we did in the first half.”

The Tigers cooled off in the second half, shooting 35.4 percent. Carroll said Moorhead came back to take a three-point lead with about seven minutes left in the game before the Tigers closed out strong for the double-digit victory.

Along with dominating the boards against a team with good size, Carroll said another key for his squad in earning the win was taking care of the basketball.

“We had 10 turnovers in the game, and we had 10 turnovers at halftime against Windom the previous night,” Carroll said. “We took care of the ball pretty well, and against a team like Moorhead, that’s what you have to do if you want to win.”