The Golden Eagles bounced back from a loss to St. Cloud State in a win against the Bulldogs.
The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team relied on a strong shooting night to ignite a 98-90 win over University of Minnesota Duluth in front an engaged home crowd at Lysaker Gymnasium. The Golden Eagles start conference play with a 2-1 mark for the first time since the 1999-00 season when Minnesota Crookston also had conference wins over Bemidji State University and Minnesota Duluth and a conference loss to University of Minnesota Morris, a former NSIC member.
Minnesota Crookston shot 30-of-54 for 55.6 percent and 14-of-23 for a blistering 60.9 percent from beyond the arc. In addition, they knocked down 24-of-27 free throw shots for 88.9 percent. The Golden Eagles turned the tide of the game late in the first half. Minnesota Duluth led 31-22 with 8:23 remaining when the Golden Eagles connected on 7-of-8 from the field over a four minute period. They flipped the script from a nine-point deficit to a six-point lead led by five 3-pointers during the 19-4 run.
The Golden Eagles improve to 4-4 (2-1 NSIC) with Saturday’s victory. The win over Minnesota Duluth is the first since Dec. 6, 2013 for the Golden Eagles. It is the first win over UMD in Dan Weisse’s four years leading the ship. Minnesota Duluth drops to 2-4 (0-2 NSIC) with the loss.
Minnesota Crookston’s starting five accounted for a staggering 92 of 98 points as all five tallied double-figures led by three who scored over 20 points. Alan Hodge, Jr. (Jr., G, Dallas, Texas) notched a near double-double of 25 points and nine boards on 8-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Harrison Cleary (So., G, Oak Creek, Wis.) added 25 points on 6-of-14 from the field and a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe. Cleary added six assists and five rebounds. Chase Knickerbocker (Jr., G/F, Annandale, Minn.) rounded out the 20-point-scorers with 20 points on 5-of-12 from the field and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Ben Juhl (Fr., G, Clive, Iowa) added 12 points, including going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Gable Smith (R-Jr., F, Lodi, Wis.) chipped in 10 points. Nate Lorenz (Jr., F/C, Breckenridge, Minn.) had a strong impact off of the bench with four rebounds, while Javier Nicolau (So., F/C, Castellon, Spain) added four points.
The 14 three-pointers for the Golden Eagles fell one short of the school record of 15 in a game.
Minnesota Duluth shot 27-of-63 for 42.9 percent from the field. They were especially successful in the first half as they knocked down 17-of-29 shots for 58.6 percent. The Golden Eagles limited the Bulldogs in the second half to just 10-of-34 from the field for 29.4 percent.
For the Bulldogs, Logan Rohrscheib led the team with 23 points on 6-of-12 from the field and 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Brandon Myer added a near double-double of 18 points and nine boards. Trevor Entwisle finished with 15 points, including going 9-of-10 from the foul line. Sean Burns chipped in 13 points and eight boards before fouling out with 7:54 left in the game. Mamadou Ngom rounded out the double-figure scoring with 13 points on 4-of-6 from the field.
The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 33-30 led by nine boards from Meyer and eight from Burns.
Minnesota Duluth got out to an early 9-4 advantage on the Golden Eagles. Minnesota Crookston pulled the lead to within three at 19-16 on a dunk by Smith. UMD responded with a 5-0 run guided by a trey from Rohrscheib would extend the lead to 24-16. The Golden Eagles pulled back to within four as Knickerbocker sank three free throws after a foul on an attempted triple.
The Bulldogs countered as they moved their lead back out to nine with a three from Rohrscheib and a bucket from Burns to make it 31-22 with 8:23 left in the first half. That is when Minnesota Crookston caught fire as the Golden Eagles hit on 7-of-8 from the field including five 3-pointers in the 19-4 run. UMC led the game 41-35 following the run.
UMD came back within three on a basket from Ngom with 1:13 remaining. UMC went into the locker room with a 52-47 lead.
Cleary led Minnesota Crookston with 14 points in the first half, while Hodge and Knickerbocker each added 11 apiece. The Golden Eagles shot an impressive 18-of26 from the field for 69.2 percent in the opening half. They were 9-of-12 for 75.0 percent from behind the three-point line.
Minnesota Duluth shot 17-of-29 from the field for 58.6 percent. They were 6-of-11 for 54.5 percent from beyond the arc. Rohrscheib for 16 points in the first half. Ngom added 11.
The Golden Eagles would push their advantage to eight early in the second half. Minnesota Duluth would be able to cut the deficit down to four as Burns made a layup with 12:40 remaining in the game. Minnesota Crookston countered with a 7-0 run led by four points from Hodge to make it 67-56.
The Bulldogs got the lead back down to six on a pair of free throws from Entwisle. The Golden Eagles again responded and got the lead out to a game-high 18 following a Cleary trey with 5:08 left in the game. Minnesota Duluth would get the lead down to eight at the close of the game, but it would not be enough as the Golden Eagles came away with their second conference victory.
UMC will play their final non-conference game Tues., Dec. 5 against Mayville State University at 7 p.m.