The Minnesota State men’s basketball team fell to St. Cloud State 72-64 in its home opener Saturday evening in Taylor Center.
With the loss, MSU drops to 3-2 on the season, while SCSU improves to 3-2. The game between the Mavericks and the Huskies was a nonconference game.
The first half proved to be a close contest as neither team led by more than four points through the first 20 minutes. With 10:04 to go in the half, MSU led 13-10, but less than three minutes later SCSU, managed to build a four-point lead at 19-15. SCSU held a three point lead with 1:42 left in the half, but baskets from sophomore Kevin Krieger and junior Carlos Anderson gave MSU a 32-31 lead as the teams went into the locker room.
As a unit, MSU shot 44.4% from the field in the first half, while SCSU shot 40% from the field. The Huskies also enjoyed a 24-18 advantage in rebounds in the first half, which led to a 6-0 advantage in second chance points.
Krieger, senior Charlie Brown and sophomore Cameron Kirksey each netted seven points in the first half. Krieger also hauled in five rebounds, while Kirksey tallied four.
Jon Averkamp led the SCSU offense in the first half with 12 points, while Sean Smith notched eight rebounds.
St. Cloud State led for most on the second half early on, but the Mavericks kept the game within a couple of baskets. A dunk from Krieger with 9:20 remaining put MSU back in front 50-49 but SCSU would finish the game on a 23-14 run to lock down the 72-64 win.
Krieger tallied his first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Brown tallied 16 points and three assists. Kirksey notched 11 points and six rebounds as well.
As a team, Minnesota State shot 45.3% from the field. It also passed out 10 assists, but committed 14 turnovers.
Averkamp led all scorers with 19 points, while Smith notched a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Trevon Marshall added 13 points off the bench as well.
As a team, St. Cloud State shot 45% from the field and went 16-of-25 (.640) from the free throw line.
Minnesota State begins NSIC competition on Friday as it hosts the Wayne State Wildcats at 8:00 p.m., in Taylor Center.