Dragon men clinch NSIC North

by Tomi Thompson

thompsonto@mnstate.edu

There was no bad luck on Friday the 13th for the Dragon Men’s basketball team as they defeated the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs 89-67 at the eighth Annual Go Pink night. UMD was one of MSUM’s two losses in the season. The Bulldogs defeated MSUM 60-58 at Duluth in December.

This years Go Pink games helped create awareness for the importance of screening for breast and testicular cancer. It also raised funds for the Sanford Health Roger Maris Cancer Center and the Go Pink Scholarship. This year’s Go Pink Scholarship recipients were sophomore Emily O’Meara and freshman Mikayla Payne.

The men’s game marked milestones for the players and the team.

The victory led to the Dragons clinching the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division title for the second year in a row.

Senior Guard Jordan Riewer led the team with 18 points. Riewer also set a new school record in career three-pointers. He finished the game with 207, beating the previous school record of 205 Jake Driscoll set from 2008-2012.

The game began with back to back dunks from junior forward Isaac Sevlie. In under two minutes, the Dragons had a 7-0 lead over the Bulldogs. At halftime, the Dragons led by 20 points, 47-27.

The Bulldogs could not stop the Dragons in the second half, as the Dragons quickly went on a 14-5 run.

Senior guard Prescott Williams wowed the crowd with an outstanding dunk to give the Dragons a commanding 60-35  lead.  He also led the team with nine rebounds and three steals and scored 10 points.

Six men scored in double digits for the Dragons including Riewer and Williams. Sevlie and sophomore forward Matt Nelson both had 14 points. Junior guards Tyler Vaughan and Ngijol Songolo each scored 10.

Freshman guard Tanner Kretchman said the Dragons had some extra fire to come out and defeat Duluth.

“It was kind of the way we lost at Duluth that we kind of had a little something extra about this game,” Kretchman said. “We really wanted to come back and show them what we’re really about as a team, and we did that.”

Kretchman said the Dragons have been on a roll this season, and have no plans to slow down.

“We have had a great season so far, and that’s why we want to keep this momentum going,” Kretchman said. “It was especially good to get the momentum back after coming of a loss to Augustana, so if we can keep that rolling into our last road series too, that will give us a good momentum for the tournament.”

Recent home series have packed the fieldhouse at Nemzek, and Kretchman said the team is grateful for the support.

“It is actually unbelievable,” he said. “People don’t think that it makes a difference, but it really does make a difference. We really notice it, and we really appreciate it and hope fans continue to come out.”

For Williams, the victory is another stepping stone on the path to continued success.

“It’s great, especially coming off a loss; it went really well,” Williams said. “Duluth gave us our first loss of the season. We were just ready to play Duluth again.”

Williams hopes the team can have another chance to play Augustana—the only other team that defeated the Dragons this season.

“Now it’s trying to win our tournament and trying to get back to play Augustana again,” Williams said. “We want to get a rematch at them, then get to the national tournament.”

The Dragons travel to Bemidji and Crookston this weekend and will host a home playoff game Feb. 25.

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