Balanced attack drives MSUM past U-Mary
By Kyle Wahlberg
It started with a tipoff win for the Dragons, and suddenly spiraled out of control as the Dragons put on a shooting clinic as they sent the University of Mary home with a big defeat 81-63 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate action.
The Dragon men’s basketball team (10-0, 3-0 in NSIC play) scored the first 15 points of the game en route to a huge game offensively. The run would last more than six minutes. The Marauders (2-5, 0-3) would miss their first eight shots while MSUM would hit four of their first seven. The Dragons were shooting and making them early. The Marauder’s first basket came with 13:35 left in the half. MSUM senior guard Jordan Riewer lead everyone with a game high 24 points.
“I think we played really well,” said Riewer. “Our M.O. this year has been to shoot the ball and I think we started off good.”
A 20-point advantage early for the Dragons was all they needed to down a Marauders team thirsty for the upset.
“I thought the first 15 minutes were great,” said MSUM men’s basketball coach Chad Walthall. “I thought we had an edge to us and I thought we lost that edge during the final five minutes of the first half.”
The Dragons would show no signs of fatigue after their 99-64 win Friday night against Minot State. They would go into halftime leading 42-26.
“A lot of our games earlier this year were back-to-back,” said Riewer. “Up in Alaska we played three games in three days, and in Missouri we played two games in two nights, so I think that experience helped us to get prepared for conference games.”
The Dragons didn’t slow down in the second half as they scored the first basket and kept on rolling.
The teams would exchange baskets back and forth over the first ten minutes of the second half. Mary would close the gap to 14, but MSUM would continue to make basket after basket.
The Marauders would commit eight fouls through the first 14 minutes, giving the Dragons the edge in free throw attempts.
The Dragons evened the scoring through the starters with a combined 59 of the teams first 68 points. A three-pointer by Prescott Williams with five minutes to go put the lead out of reach as the Dragons would push the score to 71-53.
Tyler Vaughan and Williams would carry the team in the second half as the Dragons cooled down offensively and focused more on defense.
Riewer, after a hot first half ,would remain quiet throughout the second half until his first basket nearly 15 minutes into the second half.
After that point, Riewer would make three straight baskets for the Dragons extending the lead to 21 points. Riewer would end the game with 24 points as the Dragons look next to their games against St. Cloud on Friday and Duluth on Saturday.