No. 7-ranked Minnesota State, the No. 1 seed in the South Division of the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament, shot 64 percent from the field and scored 54 points in the paint in an 87-66 win over No. 21 Augustana in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Minnesota State improves to 25-4 on the season while Augustana is now 21-8.
Augustana will learn its fate in the NCAA Tournament in the selection show on Sunday night.
The Mavericks finished the game 36 of 56 from the field, including 4 of 11 from 3-point range. The Vikings had an admirable night from the field as well, shooting 47 percent (27 of 57) from the field.
Jarvis Williams led all players with 20 points in the contest, finishing the game 9 of 10 from the field. Connor O’Brien and Assem Marei each added 15 points for the Mavericks while Zach Monaghan finished with 16.
Daniel Jansen led the Vikings offensively with 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Cameron McCaffrey added 15 points and six assists for Augustana while Alex Richter pitched in with 12 points.
Minnesota State out-rebounded the Vikings 35-22, but the Vikings didn’t have many opportunities as MSU didn’t miss often.
Both teams started off the game at a fast pace running the floor and getting the ball to the basket. Augustana went up by four at 12-8 after Jansen’s third basket of the game just under four minutes into the game.
Minnesota State was able to tie the game after Monaghan hit a 3-pointer and was fouled and converted the four-point-play to tie the game at 12. On MSU’s next possession Marei put the Mavericks in front 14-12 on a fastbreak layup, but he missed a free throw after getting fouled.
Monaghan’s basket started an 11-0 scoring run for the Mavericks as they were able to push their lead to 19-12.
After two free throws by Huisken, Yuriy Malashenko came off the bench and nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key to bring the Vikings within two at 19-17. Minnesota State responded by going on an 11-2 run over the next three and a half minutes to extend its lead to 30-21.
Augustana cut the lead to six with 3:15 remaining in the half when Jansen hit is fifth straight basket of the game, a 3-pointer, to make the score 38-32. The Mavericks ended the half on a 6-2 run and took a 44-34 lead into the locker room.
Both teams were hot in the first half as the Mavericks shot 59 percent (20 of 34) from the field while Augustana was 14 of 26 (54 percent) shooting.
Jansen led the Vikings in the half with 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting, hitting 1 of 2 from 3-point range and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. McCaffrey and Richter each had six points in the half for the Vikings.
Williams led MSU with 12 first half points on 6 of 7 shooting while Marei added eight points and four rebounds for the Mavericks. MSU out-rebounded Augustana 15-12 in the first half and came up with four steals. The Mavericks scored 11 points off Augustana turnovers in the half.
Augustana made it a six-point game scoring two quick baskets early in the second half but the Mavericks came right back on a 6-0 run to push their lead to 12 at 50-38 three minutes into the second half.
Augustana wouldn’t go away as it would cut Minnesota State’s lead to five after Casey Schilling nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make the score 54-49 with 13:06 to play. The two teams traded baskets over the next six minutes but the Mavericks went on an 11-3 run to push their lead to 13 at 74-61 with 4:16 remaining in the game.
Minnesota State continued to pour it on over the final four minutes of the contest going on to win 87-66.
Augustana will learn its fate in the NCAA Tournament during the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday night at 9:30 p.m.