On Sunday, Feb. 27 the Minnesota State University Moorhead men’s basketball team began a journey to defend its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Tournament championship.
The Dragons took on the University of Sioux Falls and wasted no time jumping out to a 25-4 lead with 12:09 remaining in the first half. 14 of those points were complementary of NSIC All-Conference first team honoree Jacob Beeninga. It didn’t stop there either, the Dragons kept up the dominant play going into the under five minute media timeout extending the lead to 40-11 over the Cougars. Once the first half came to a close MSUM was leading 46-17.
The opening 20 minutes saw the Dragons play some stellar defense, but the Cougars also had a tough time shooting overall from the field. USF shot 15.2 percent (5-33) and a measly 7.7 percent (1-13) from three-point range. On the contrary MSUM shot 54.8 percent (17-31) overall and connected on 40 percent (6-15) of their shots from downtown. The Dragons were led by Jacob Beeninga’s 16 points along with big man Dane Zimmer’s six points and nine rebounds (4 offensive rebounds).
In the second half Sioux Falls shot better from the field thanks in large part to their leading scorer Matt Cartwright finding a groove. In the first 11 minutes of the half Cartwright would score 13 points as the Cougars would chip away at the deficit at one point getting it down to 18 points (60-42 MSUM with 9:02 remaining in the second half). The leadership of MSUM’s four seniors took over in the finals nine minutes as the Dragons secured the quarterfinals victory 76-56.
Now the Dragons will battle the Bemidji State Beavers tonight (Monday, Feb. 27) in the NSIC Tournament Semifinals. Game coverage will be available on WDAY Radio beginning at 6:30 p.m. with tip slated for 7 p.m.
Jacob Beeninga 24 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast
Dane Zimmer 12 pts, 15 reb (8 offensive)
Lorenzo McGhee 12 pts, 4 reb
Gavin Baumgartner 11 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast
Trever Kaiser 8 pts, 1 reb
Jordan Johnson 3 pts
Logan Kinsey 3 reb
Chance Fazio 1 reb
Matt Cartwright 23 pts, 6 reb, 1 ast
Chase Grinde 7 pts, 5 reb
Jack Thompson 6 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast
Jake Kettner 4 pts, 8 reb
Trent Lippoldt 4 pts, 2 reb
Zane Alm 4 pts, 1 reb
Conner Jackson 3 pts, 3 reb
Jack Cartwright 3 pts, 2 reb
Noah Puetz 2 pts, 1 reb
Kenji Scales 2 reb, 1ast
Austin Olson 1 reb