Northern Sun men win 5 of 8 on Day 2

We’re continuing with the Northern Sun men today. You might recall that they swept 8 games on Friday night against opponents from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, including 5 of 5 in the Central Region Challenge in Pittsburgh, KA. Today we’ll focus on the other 4 Northern Sun teams–UMD and MN Crookston at the GAC/NSIC Crossover; Southwest State at the Mid-American Challenge in St. Joe, MO; and Concordia-St. Paul in a regular ol’ basketball game at Newman, KA.

Game #1–East Central 62 UMD 58

You may recall that UMD defeated Oklahoma Baptist 77-71 on Friday night as Drew Blair scored 33 points to become UMD’s all-time leading career scorer. Well, apparently they left it all on the court Friday night because the tank was empty Saturday against an inferior opponent. UMD led East Central 24-23 at the half and 33-23 early in the 2nd, but East Central came back to take the lead at 53-52 at 2:23. The lead changed hands 5 times and Jack Middleton scored 5 of his 9 points inside of 2-and-a-half minutes to give UMD its final 2 leads, but East Central outscored UMD 6-1 inside of one minute. Blair finished with just 8 points on 4-of-11 shooting including 0-for-5 from 3. Austin Andrews (Eden Prairie) and Charlie Katona (Shakopee) combined for 28 points. East Central iced it from the line, making 15-of-18 while UMD made just 5-of-11.

Game #2–Southwest State 63 NW Missouri State 56

Southwest State trailed 27-26 at half-time and 46-38 at 10:31 of the 2nd, but went on a 15-4 run to take a 53-50 lead at 2:26. Rookie Aeron Stevens (Plainview) scored 4, then Jake Braaten (Byron), Jake Phipps (Anoka) and Mason Lund (Sartell) each hit a 3. Southwest State pulled away in the final minute. Cliff Cofield (Iowa) led the way with 20 points, 5 boards and 5 assists on 8-of-9 shooting, while Dunwa Omot (Mankato) added 15 on 3-of-7 3s, and Braaten scored 11. As a team, Southwest shot a respectable 8-of-18 (44%) from 3-point range.

Game #3–MN Crookston 69 Oklahoma Baptist 67

Crookston, picked for 15th and last in the NSIC in the coaches’ poll, surprised a supposedly solid Oklahoma Baptist team after trailed 63-55 at 3:41 of the 2nd half. Blaize Sagna (London, England) scored 3 buckets and Ben Hoverson (North Dakota) a 3. Oklahoma Baptist went back ahead 67-66 at 20 seconds, but Grant Reid (Iowa) hit a 3 with 3 ticks on the clock for the win. Sagna finished with 19 points in 7-of-15 shooting. Hoverson scored 12 on 3-of-6 3s, while Reid scored 11 with 2-of-5 3s. UMC shot 47% on 3s while OB shot just 23%.

Game #4–Newman 85 Concordia-St. Paul 83

CSP led 70-58 at 8:53 but Newman closed the game on a 27-13 run, taking the lead at 82-80 at 0:25, then hitting a game-winning 3 with 5 seconds remaining. Marcus Skeete scored 27 points with 6 boards and 2 assists on 9-of-12 shooting. Jordan Horn, who gave CSP a short-lived 83-82 lead at :09, scored 17 with 7 boards on 5-of-11 3-pointers, while Ben Kopetzki (Andover) came off the bench to score 14 with 2-of-4 3s and 6-of-6 FT.

Top Performers

PF-Marcus Skeete, CSP, 6-5, jr. (Illinois) 27-6-2, 9-of-12

SF-Austin Andrews, UMD, 6-6, sr. (Eden Prairie) 16-4, 7-of-10

PG-Charlie Cofield, SW State, 6-2, sr. (Iowa) 20-5-5, 8-of-9, 7-of-15

SG-Jordan Horn, CSP, 6-2, sr. (Tartan) 17-7, 5-of-11 3s

SG-Blaize Sagna, UMC, 6-3, jr. (London) 19-4-3

6th Man-Ben Kopetzki, CSP, 6-2, fr. (Andover) 14 pts, 2-of-4 3s, 6-of-6 FT