Everyone played, and everyone contributed to Matt Murken's first win as the Minot State University men's basketball coach.
Each of the 11 Beavers who saw action scored at least four points as MSU crushed Northland College, an overmatched Division III opponent, 86-27 Sunday at the MSU Dome.
"I'd love to see some guys really step up and take their game to the next level and really separate themselves," Murken said. "We need some guys to play better, but at the same time, all 11 guys are fighting, all of them want to play. We're not going to play 11 guys all year more than likely, but it's nice to know that if we have injuries or we have foul trouble, we've got other guys that have had some game experience and have been successful."
Minot State University senior guard Anthony Enriquez splits a pair of Northland College defenders during the Beavers’ win Sunday at the MSU Dome.
The Beavers (1-2) went on an early 23-0 run and led 49-10 at halftime. Everyone got into the action in the first half as freshman Dan Yale, the final MSU player to enter the game, knocked down two 3-pointers late in the frame.
The Lumberjacks, who don't have a player taller than 6-foot-6, had no answer for MSU's 6-9 center Kelvin Fraser. The senior finished with a game-high 15 points and added seven rebounds and five blocks. Senior Josh Johnson, a 6-5 forward, added 10 points.
"We've got some good, tough players, especially down low," said sophomore Thomas Korf, who knocked down two 3s en route to nine points. "They didn't have anybody to match Kelvin or Josh."
An ugly situation for Northland (0-2) got worse when freshman point guard Carnell Sheppard, the only Lumberjack capable of threatening MSU defenders off the dribble, picked up his third foul 12 minutes into the game.
The Beavers overwhelmed the smaller Northland players on defense, holding them to 10-of-56 shooting (18 percent) for the game.
"Anytime you beat a team that bad, there's a chance that you could let down and stop guarding them," Murken said. "We did a good job for most of those 40 minutes. We contested their shots and made them work for every shot they had."
Meanwhile, the Beavers shot 51 percent and distributed the ball liberally. No MSU player attempted more than nine shots and six scored at least eight points.
"We don't have a selfish team," Fraser said. "Everybody's looking for the open man. The extra pass - the coaches have been trying to tell us that that's the most important one."
The Beavers open their first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference slate Dec. 1 at the University of Mary.