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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Men's basketball: Golden Eagles swept at home, losing streak reaches 17

  • Minnesota, Crookston falls to 3-17 on the season and 0-16 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
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  • The Golden Eagles were swept on the weekend in Crookston, 89-59 Friday night by Sioux Falls and 63-54 Saturday night by Southwest Minnesota State.
     
    Minnesota, Crookston falls to 3-17 on the season and 0-16 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
     
    Saturday night continued UMC and NSIC’s weekend promotion of “It’s A Slam Dunk – Don’t Drive Drunk” to increase awareness of the harms of drunk driving. SMSU coach Brad Bigler spearheaded the idea after the loss of his son Drake Bigler, only five months old, due to a drunk driver back last July.
     
    UMC vs. USF
    Sioux Falls shot lights out from beyond the arch, hitting 15 three-pointers on the night led by five treys from Bill Freeman off the bench as the Cougars downed the Golden Eagles. The Golden Eagles struggled to get going offensively on the night scoring only 59 points.
     
    The Golden Eagles were led by junior Brandon Burns (F, Baton Rouge, La.), who scored the first seven points of the game for UMC en route to 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Junior Ashton Harrell (G, Houston, Texas) also had a solid night with a season-high 17 points. UMC finished shooting 19-of-46 for 41.3 percent and were 6-of-13 for 46.2 percent from three-point range. Redshirt junior James Sparkman (F, Ypsilanti, Mich.) added nine points and seven rebounds while senior Justin Rake (G, Petal, Miss.) finished with eight points.
     
    UMC was out-muscled on the boards by the tune of 39 to 24 which included 19 offensive rebounds and 23 second-chance points for the Cougars. A.J. Holland led Sioux Falls in rebounds with seven on the night while Sparkman paced the Golden Eagles with seven, as well.
     
    Sioux Falls finished the night shooting 36-of-70 for 51.4 percent and were hot from three-point range all night, especially in the first half as they connected on 8-of-12 attempts for 66.7 percent. USF would finish the night 15-of-31 for 48.4 percent from long range. The Cougars were paced by Freeman, who came off the bench for 19 points including going 5-of-7 from beyond the arch. Freeman, a transfer from Nebraska Omaha, came in averaging only 4.4 points per game but was shooting 44.4 percent from behind the three-point line.
     
    UMC vs. SMSU
    Minnesota, Crookston hung with the Southwest Minnesota State for 38 minutes but were unable to get crucial buckets down the stretch as they fell 63-54.
     
    The Golden Eagles had balance overall in scoring column, something that hasn’t come easy for UMC. Sparkman led the way with a near double-double of nine points and 11 rebounds while Harrell and Burns also tallied nine points. Senior point guard Almir Krdzalic (Sioux Falls, S.D.) finished with eight points, six assists and five rebounds. Rake added eight points.
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    The Golden Eagles finished the game shooting 17-of-52 for 32.7 percent from the field and were 6-of-14 for 42.9 percent from beyond the arch led by three treys from Burns. UMC was 14-of-19 for 73.7 percent from the charity stripe.
     
    The Mustangs were led by four players who tallied double-figure scoring. Vinard Birch led the way with 14 points while Jordan Miller would chip in 13, including 3 three-pointers. Matt Zager and Lavione West each tallied 12.
     
    Southwest Minnesota State narrowly out-rebound UMC 36-33 on the night led by six rebounds from Miller. Sparkman paced the Golden Eagles on the glass with 11.

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