MSUM Men’s Basketball Books Ticket to NSIC Quarters With Win Over Wayne State

Dragons won 69-62

MOORHEAD, Minn.— (MSUM Athletics) The Minnesota State University Moorhead men’s basketball team outscored Wayne State (Neb.) 38-25 in the second half to survive and advance to the second-round of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament with a 69-65 win on Wednesday night at Nemzek Fieldhouse.

MSUM’s win over Wayne State sets the Dragons up for a second-round matchup with Upper Iowa which will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. In their only game against Upper Iowa this season, the Dragons prevailed at home 98-84 in early January.

The Dragons improved to 18-11 overall. Wayne State ended the season 10-22 overall. The Dragons are a three-seed in the NSIC North Division, while the Wildcats are the sixth-seed in the NSIC South Division.

MSUM shot 38.3 percent (23-of-60) from the field and 38.5 percent (10-of-26) from beyond the arc compared to 46.6 percent (27-of-58) from the field and 27.8 percent (5-of-18) from three for the Wildcats.

Sophomore guard Gavin Baumgartner led the Dragons in scoring with 21 points. Baumgartner also led the Dragons on the glass with nine rebounds. Freshman forward Dane Zimmer scored 14 points and also pulled down eight rebounds. Junior forward Kaedrick Williams had 11 points, six rebounds, and a team-high four assists. Sophomore guard Bryce Irsfeld scored 14 points off the bench.

In the first half, Wayne State jumped out to a 12-4 lead with 15:40 remaining. The Wildcats led up until the 7:08 mark, when a three-pointer by Baumgartner tied the game at 26-26. However, the Wildcats ended the first half on a 14-5 run to take a 40-31 lead into halftime.

In the second half, the Wildcats were able to extend their lead early. A Wayne State layup with 17:41 remaining gave the Wildcats a 10-point lead; their largest of the game. The Dragons responded with a 10-0 run, tying the game at 47-47 with 13:46 remaining in the game. Wayne State would build a lead again and led 56-49 with 8:29 remaining. The Dragons went on another scoring run, and a three-pointer by freshman guard Nathan Rund tied the game at 59-59 with 6:14 remaining.

The Dragons would not trail from that point on. Wayne State was able to tie it up at 62-62 with 2:22 left on the clock, but a basket by Zimmer with 37 seconds left put MSUM up for good at 64-62. Irsfeld helped MSUM ice the game with four free throws in the final half minute as the Dragons prevailed 69-65.

The Dragons now travel to Sioux Falls, S.D. to take on Upper Iowa (19-10) on Feb. 29. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Sanford Pentagon. Upper Iowa took down UMary 80-64 in their first-round matchup at home on Wednesday. Upper Iowa is the two-seed out of the NSIC south division. The Dragons are 10-4 in all-time matchups with the Peacocks.

Steve d’Eustachio Stat of the Game: With this win, the Dragons now have a 7-12 overall first-round NSIC tournament record (6-4 under Chad Walthall), 6-2 at home (all under Walthall), and are 3-0 versus Wayne State notching wins in 2015, 2016 and tonight. It will also mark the first time that the Dragons have advanced past the first round since the 2016 tourney where they beat Wayne State at home, Upper Iowa and U-Mary in the quarterfinals and semifinals, before falling 89-76 to Augustana who went on to win the National Championship.

Categories: College, Top Sports Headlines