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Men’s Basketball bounces back

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Southwest Minnesota State University’s men’s basketball team played their first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference games of the season this weekend at the R/A facility at SMSU. The Mustangs faced Upper Iowa on Friday, Dec. 1 and Winona State on Dec. 2.
Coming off a loss against Sioux Falls on Nov. 25, the Mustangs won on Friday with a score of 93 to Upper Iowa’s score of 86.
UIU’s Carson Parker scored a team-high of 20 points. Ryan Bruggeman scored a game high of 24 points. KJ Davis scored a career high of 19 points. SMSU maintained a 10-0 lead in the first half. SMSU’s lead grew through the first half reaching its peak at 38-23.
At halftime, SMSU lead with a score of 45-36. With 16 minutes remaining, SMSU held onto a 15-point league. The Peacocks wore down that lead until the score was 83-82 with 1:53 left in the game. In the final 38 seconds, Davis made 6 straight free throws to secure victory for SMSU.
On Saturday, the Mustangs won with 79 points to Winona State’s 76. Bruggeman had his third straight 20-point game—scoring 24 points. Taylor Schafer scored 14 points to tie his season high.
WSU lead until 14:40 when Schafer’s 3-point and a shot from Kolin Bartlett allowed SMSU to take the lead.
SMSU held the lead for a brief period until WSU scored 12 points in a 2-minute period. At halftime, WSU had a 4-point lead with a score of 39 to SMSU’s 30 points. SMSU managed to regain the lead. A 3-pointer by Michael Lee pushed the score to 47-43. Midway through the half, the game was tied at 56.
SMSU maintained a lead throughout the rest of the half. Devin Whitelow on WSU attempted a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, but his shot fell short and the Mustangs won 79-76.
After the win on Saturday, head coach Brad Bigler set a new record for victories. The previous record of 141 victories was held by Greg Stemen (2001-09). SMSU is now 6-3 overall with a 2-1 NSIC record.
Next weekend, SMSU will play another round of NSIC games. The team faces Minnesota Duluth on Friday Dec. 8. On Saturday Dec. 9 SMSU will play St. Cloud.

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