Feb 13, 2023

St. Cloud State Men’s Basketball Keeps Tournament Hopes Alive with Weekend Sweep

Ryan McNamara // KVSC Sports Director

With their conference tournament hopes on the line for the remainder of the season, head coach Quincy Henderson and the Huskies need to win out to give the team their best chance at making the tournament. St. Cloud State fought hard for two wins this weekend against Minot State and the University of Mary.

SCSU forward Luke Taylor (32) goes up for a contested layup against Minot State defender (via SCSU Athletics)

Friday, the Huskies faced NSIC North rival Minot State, who the Huskies lost to 96-74 in their December matchup. The Huskies started strong, taking leads as large as six points over the first fifteen minutes of play. Minot State went on a 12-3 run over the final four minutes of the half to take a 36-33 edge into halftime.

In the second half, both offenses found their rhythm, as both sides shot over 60% from the field, making over 50% from three. St. Cloud State forward Matthew Willert and Minot State forward Connor Hollenbeck went shot for shot over the final twenty minutes, as both eclipsed over 30 points for the game. A back-and-forth affair in the game brought the contest down to the final shot in regulation, tied at 89. The Huskies couldn’t find the bottom of the basket on their final shot, so it came down to overtime. The Huskies took a quick lead on a Tony Dahl three-pointer just 24 seconds into overtime, and retained the lead for the final four minutes and 36 seconds, winning by a ridiculous score of 107-105.

Saturday, the Huskies faced another in-division foe, the University of Mary. SCSU gained a quick edge, jumping out to a 11-point lead just four minutes into the game. The Marauders made their comeback in the final five minutes of the first half to cut the deficit to the one, ending the first half 39-38. The Huskies struggled to shoot after their hot start, scoring just 12 points over the final nine minutes of the half.

The Marauders would take a brief lead in the first few minutes of the second half, but a 7-0 run with 15 minutes remaining gave the Huskies a lead they would never relinquish. The Huskies offense continued to pick up the pace in the second half, shooting over 51% from the field and taking the 80-70 victory. Tony Dahl and Luke Taylor combined to score 39 of the Huskies 80 points, shooting 14 for 26 from the field and 6 for 8 from beyond the arc.

Next up for St. Cloud State, they’ll end regular season play with a road matchup against Bemidji State and a home finale against Minnesota-Crookston next weekend.

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