Beavers basketball teams hit the road for Minnesota

As the season winds down, the impact of each weekend gets bigger and bigger for the Minot State men’s and women’s basketball teams who hit the road for a pair of NSIC games in Minnesota.

The Beavers play at Concordia, St. Paul, on Friday night, then at Minnesota State, Mankato, on Saturday, and both Minot State teams look to solidify their place in the playoff race.

The Minot State women (9-11 overall, 5-9 NSIC) have won 3 of their last 4 to climb within a game of the playoffs with 8 games left on the schedule, making this weekend a great opportunity to continue climbing.

It won’t be easy against the Golden Bears (8-10, 5-9) or Mavericks (15-3, 11-3) as Concordia, St. Paul is chasing a home playoff date in the NSIC South Division, and the Mavericks share the NSIC South Division lead and are looking for the division title.

Friday’s match-up at Concordia, St. Paul looks to be a test of defensive wills as the Golden Bears are 12th in the NSIC in scoring, averaging 62.2 points per game, while Minot State is 14th averaging 60.3 ppg. The team that can overcome the other’s defense looks to have the advantage.

Head-to-head, the Golden Bears are 7-3 against the Beavers, but Minot State won the teams’ last meeting last January, 81-70 at the MSU Dome.

Concordia is led by 6-foot junior guard Ally Gietzel who averages 12.2 ppg.

Saturday will offer a much different match-up for the Beavers as the Mavericks lead the NSIC in scoring at 84.1 ppg, and in rebounding, grabbing 41.6 rebounds per game.

Similar to Friday, the Mavericks hold an 8-2 head-to-head edge in the teams’ series, but last January the Beavers notched an 81-71 win at home over MSU, Mankato.

The Mavericks high-scoring attack is led by 5-5 junior guard Joey Batt who is fourth in the NSIC averaging 17.0 ppg.

As for the Beavers, senior guard Kate Head continues to lead the way as she averages 16.0 ppg, which is seventh in the NSIC, and leads Minot State with 67 assists, as well.

As for the Minot State men, they have been very good of late on the road winning 3 of their last 4 away from the MSU Dome, a trend they hope to continue against a Concordia, St. Paul team that sits outside the playoff picture right now, and an MSU, Mankato foe that like the Beavers, is chasing a home playoff date.

Minot State (9-9, 6-8) leads the all-time series 7-2 against the Golden Bears (4-16, 2-12), which includes a 98-54 win last year at the MSU Dome. The Beavers look to continue that trend against a Concordia team that allows opponents a league-high 47.6 shooting percent and has grabbed the fewest rebounds in the NSIC (31.0 rpg).

One weapon the Golden Bears do feature, though, is 6-0 junior guard Antwan Kimmons who is second in the NSIC in scoring at 21.1 ppg, who the Beavers will have to contend with.

Saturday at Mankato (13-7, 7-7), the Beavers face a Mavericks team that holds an 8-2 series edge but that Minot State beat 97-69 last January at the MSU Dome.

Like the MSU, Mankato women, the Maverick men also lead the NSIC in scoring, averaging 80.2 ppg, and rebounding at 39.1 rpg, keys in their success that Minot State will have to contend with.

Another key is 6-3 junior guard Malik Willingham who is ninth in the NSIC in scoring at 18.1 ppg.

For the Beavers, balance is key as junior guard Khari Broadway leads a trio of Minot State players in double digits at 13.4 ppg, while senior guard Cam’ron Dunfee averages 12.3 ppg, and sophomore guard Jaxon Gunville averages 11.1 ppg.


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