UMC wraps up their home games at Lysaker on Friday and Saturday.
The Scoop The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team will wrap up their regular-season home slate Fri., Feb. 9 and Sat., Feb. 10 at Lysaker Gymnasium. The Golden Eagles will take on No. 12 Northern State Fri., Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. and Minnesota State University Moorhead Sat., Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. Previewing the Golden Eagles The Golden Eagles are coming off a split last weekend with Augustana and Wayne State. Minnesota Crookston upended Augustana for the first time since 2004 as they tied the school record for wins with nine. Minnesota Crookstons is led by the league’s leading scorer in Harrison Cleary, who is tallying 24.8 points per game. Cleary is the nation’s leading free throw shooter at 95.3 percent. He recently moved up to 30th all-time in NSIC scoring. He continues to move up the conference record charts. Cleary has 941 career points in conference play in under two seasons. He need just 59 to reach 1,000 career NSIC points. Cleary is currently ranked 30th all-time on the conference scoring chart. He needs two points to move past Zach Malvik of Winona State University. Cleary is joined by Alan Hodge, Jr., who is averaging 14.7 points per game. Hodge is shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc on the season. Ben Juhl gives the Golden Eagles a strong trio in the backcourt with his 10.8 points per game. The freshman is shooting 34.7 percent from beyond the arc. In the post, Minnesota Crookston looks to Gable Smith’s 8.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Smith leads the nation in blocked shots with 3.9 per game. The Golden Eagles are averaging 76.2 points per game and are giving up 74.2 points per game. They are shooting 46.1 percent from the field, 39.5 percent from beyond the arc and 79.1 percent from the foul line. Previewing the Wolves Northern State comes into the weekend with a No. 12 national ranking. The Wolves are 23-3 (16-2 NSIC) as they are currently the No. 1 seed in the NSIC North. Northern State has gone 4-2 in their last six games. The Wolves look to D.J. Pollard’s 13.1 points per game, while point guard Ian Smith is tallying 13.0 points per game. In the post, Carter Evans is averaging 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Off of the bench, forward Logan Doyle is averaging 11.8 points and 7.1 rebounds. Evans, at 6-10, and Doyle, at 6-8, give Northern State great size inside. Darin Peterka has also been strong off of the bench, tallying 11.3 points per game. The Wolves are averaging 79.7 points per game and allowing just 66.4 points per game off the bench. Northern State is shooting an amazing 50.3 percent from the field. They are hitting at a 40.8 percent clip from beyond the arc led by Pollard, who shoots 43.2 percent, while Cole Dahl is shooting 47.7 percent. Northern State shoots a 74.6 percent clip from the foul line. Previewing the Dragons The Dragons come into the weekend with a 6-18 (4-14 NSIC) record. MSU Moorhead looks to Tanner Kretchman’s 15.8 points per game, while Johnny Beeninga and Travaun Coad are each tallying 13.8 points per game. In the post, Addison Park leads the way with 11.5 points per game. MSU Moorhead has lost their last three games. The Dragons are averaging 75.0 points per game. MSU Moorhead is struggling defensively this season as they are allowing 82.8 points per game. MSU Moorhead is shooting 46.7 percent from the field. The Dragons are hitting three-pointers at a 34.7 percent clip and free throws at a 76.3 percent clip. #5StoryLines 1. Can the Golden Eagles get consistent production from other players outside of Harrison Cleary? 2. Can the Golden Eagles match the physicality of Carter Evans and Logan Doyle inside? 3. Will Gable Smith continue to be a pest in the paint with his blocked shots? 4. Can the Golden Eagles slow down MSU Moorhead senior Tanner Kretchman? 5. Can Minnesota Crookston pester the MSU Moorhead defense their offensive ability? #ClimbingTheCharts Minnesota Crookston sophomore guard Harrison Cleary has had a phenomenal start to his young career. The Oak Creek, Wis., native continues to climb up the charts. Cleary has 941 career points in conference play. Cleary needs just 59 points to reach 1,000 points in NSIC play in under two years. He is 30th all-time in the conference, needing two points to move past Zach Malvik of Winona State. Cleary is second all-time in scoring at Minnesota Crookston. He has 1,235 career points. Cleary needs 705 points to surpass Joe Hasz for the school record. To put in perspective, Cleary has already scored 595 points this season. #Denied Minnesota Crookston redshirt junior Gable Smith has always been a shot block machine with a school-record 216 blocks. Smith has taken it to a new level this year with an NCAA Division II leading 3.88 blocks per game. He has notched nine games with five or more blocks. Smith notched eight blocked shots in last Friday’s win over Augustana. He has also continued to grow offensively on the season as he is averaging 8.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game for the Golden Eagles. Smith will look to have a big impact against Northern State and MSU Moorhead. #DeEspana Minnesota Crookston sophomore forward Javier Nicolau, a 6-10 giant from Castellon, Spain continues to come into his own. Nicolau was big off the bench for the Golden Eagles last weekend as he tallied five points, seven rebounds and three blocks in a win over Augustana. Nicolau averaged 4.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last weekend for Minnesota Crookston. He will look to continue to have a major impact this weekend. #CrownJuhl Golden Eagle freshman Ben Juhl has had a strong start to his young career. The Clive, Iowa native is tallying 10.8 points per game. Juhl is coming off a big game against Wayne State. Juhl notched a season-high 21 points on 8-of-12 from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Juhl is averaging 14.3 points per game in the last three for Minnesota Crookston. Juhl will look to have a big impact this weekend.