Mustang Men Fall To MSUM

Maria Gilland, Sports Editor

A hard-fought postseason run by the Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team was ended in Golden, Colo. by Minnesota State University-Moorhead in an 82-66 loss during the National Collegiate Athletic Association II Central Region Tournament.

Matt Zager has been a key part of the Mustang men's basketball team this season.

The Mustangs got off to a sluggish start while the Dragons jumped to an early 6-0 lead. Tramel Barnes ended the streak with a jumper with over 16 minutes on the clock. Barnes’s basket was the beginning of a 9-0 run for the Mustangs. The run was topped off with a Trent Carlson three-pointer with just over 14 minutes remaining in the first half.
The teams swapped the lead for several minutes. With just over 10 minutes remaining before half-time, SMSU held its last lead at 16-15 after a William Giddings three-point shot.
The Dragons rallied back with a 15-2 run, building up a 30-18 lead with over three minutes of the first half remaining. MSUM went into the locker room with a 36-25 advantage.
SMSU shot 34.5 percent in the first half, connecting on three 3-pointers while giving up seven turnovers.
Hot shooting early in the second half helped the Mustangs trim the deficit to 39-34, but the Dragons could not be contained; MSUM bounced back with a six-point run to gain a 46-34 lead with just under sixteen minutes of playing time remaining. The Dragons gained momentum and built their lead to 59-39 with over thirteen minutes left on the clock.
After a Giddings layup, SMSU rallied back to cut the MSUM lead to just 63-50 with just under ten minutes left in the second half.  The Dragons rebounded with a 10-2 run to seal their victory.
The Dragons held a rebound advantage of 39-34.
Lavionne West paced the Mustangs with 12 points and six rebounds. Jordan Miller added 11 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Giddings chipped in ten points.
The Mustangs finished the season with a final record of 19-11.