MEN’S BASKETBALL: SMSU records lanakila

MARSHALL – With the fans dressed in colorful tropical garb for Southwest Minnesota State’s annual Hawaiian Night, the Mustangs put on a performance that put every SMSU follower in the gym into a basketball paradise.

The Mustangs cruised to a 79-53 win over Minnesota-Crookston on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 2,912.

“This is a game where the atmosphere really provides energy,” SMSU coach Brad Bigler said. “I thought our guys fed off the energy and we were able to get up early and from there, we were pretty efficient.”

The Golden Eagles held an 11-6 lead with 14:30 left in the first half when the Mustangs dialed up their pressure and held UMC to just 11 points the rest of the half, going on a 40-11 run during that span. SMSU took a 46-22 lead and never looked back.

Shaun Condon finished as the Mustangs’ leading scorer with a career-high 20 points and pulled down six rebounds, also a career high.

Nick Smith put in 18 points while grabbing a game-high nine rebounds and the Mustangs got a 15-point effort from Vinard Birch. Mitch Weg chipped in 10 points.,

SMSU was dominant on the boards, totaling 39 to the Golden Eagle’s 23, and shot 59 percent from the field to UMC’s 30 percent. The Mustangs’ 60 points in the paint topped the Golden Eagles overall total.

As nice as setting his career high for points, Condon was even happier to see the team get the win.

“That’s cool and all, but as long as we got the win, that’s really all that matters,” Condon said. “I thought we played well as a team. It was about us coming out and executing and playing well on defense and I thought that’s what we did.”

Minnesota-Crookston (4-16, 1-15 NSIC) has had difficulties ever since its leading scorer (Ashton Harrell, 15.3 points per game) was lost for the season due to an injury and coach Jeff Oseth has had an inexperienced lineup in which to work.

“We’re struggling,” Oseth said. “Friday night was a two-point game, we missed free throws we needed to win it. Saturday, when they put the press on, we just succumbed to the pressure and it got real easy for them.”

SMSU improved to 14-8 overall and 11-5 in the NSIC South. The Mustangs will hit the road with games at Minnesota State (19-4, 13-3 NSIC South) on Friday and Concordia- St. Paul (7-13, 4-12 NSIC South) on Saturday.

SMSU 79, MINNESOTA-CROOKSTON 53

MINNESOTA-CROOKSTON (7-13 OVERALL, 4-12 NSIC): Derrick Redd 6-10 5-7 20, Kevin Larson 1-5 0-0 3, Tyler West 2-9 2-2 6, John Hughes 0-3 4-4 4, Brandon Burns 1-7 0-0 3, Giorgi Koguashvill 3-6, 3-6 10, Sam Howell 1-3 0-0 3, Tim Lubke 1-3 1-13, Ibraham Cisse 0-0 0-0 0, Alec Koepp 0-0 1-2 1, Thomas Parker 0-3 0-0 0, Austin Dierks 0-1 0-0 0. 15-50 (30%) 16-22 (73%) 53.

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE (19-4, 13-3 NSIC) William Giddings 4-7 0-0 8, Vinard Birch 7-9 1-2 15, Mitch Weg 3-3 4-4 10, Matt Zager 2-3 0-0 4, Nick Smith 9-12 0-0 18, Drew Osmundson 0-0 0-0 0, Shaun Condon 7-12 4-4 20, Travis Meinders 0-3 0-0 0, Joey Bartlett 2-7 0-0 4, David Condon 0-2 0-0 4. 34-58 (59%) 9-10 (90%) 79.

HALFTIME: Southwest Minnesota State 46, Minnesota-Crookston 22. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Minnesota-Crookston 7-16 (Redd 3-4, Larsen 1-1, Burns 1-2, Koguashvilli 1-1, Sam Howell 1-3); Southwest Minnesota State 2-11 (Condon 2-4). REBOUNDS: Minnesota-Crookston 23 (Hughes 5); Southwest Minnesota State 39 (Smith 9). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Minnesota-Crookston 13 (None); Southwest Minnesota State 18 (None). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Minnesota-Crookston 6 (Larson 2); Southwest Minnesota State 10 (Birch 3). STEALS: Minnesota-Crookston 5 (Larson 2); Southwest Minnesota State 6 (Birch 3). BLOCKED SHOTS: Minnesota-Crookston 0; Southwest Minnesota State 4 (Smith 2). TURNOVERS: UMC 10; SMSU 11.