Minnesota Crookston falls to 10-8 (4-6 NSIC) with Saturday's loss.

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Minnesota State University Moorhead out-scored the University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team 59-46 in the second half to defeat the Golden Eagles 101-88 Sat., Jan. 12 at Nemzek Fieldhouse in Moorhead, Minn. The Dragons were ignited by 14 second-half points from Johnny Beeninga and Bryce Irsfeld. In addition, MSU Moorhead was 16-of-18 from the foul line in the second half.

    The Golden Eagles and Dragons split the season series 1-1. Minnesota Crookston falls to 10-8 (4-6 NSIC) with Saturday’s loss. MSU Moorhead improves to 13-5 (7-3 NSIC) with the victory. The Dragons are on a six-game win streak after the victory. The Golden Eagles are in fifth place in the NSIC North, and they remain within one game of fourth place a spot currently held by the University of Minnesota Duluth, a team they defeated last weekend. Minnesota Crookston currently is tied for the program’s all-time wins mark. They are just one win shy of setting a new all-time wins record.

    The Golden Eagles were guided by 27 points from Harrison Cleary (Jr., G, Oak Creek, Wis.) on 11-of-17 from the field, and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Cleary is 11th all-time on the NSIC’s all-time scoring charts. The junior is just three points shy of surpassing former Minnesota Duluth great Brett Ervin for 10th all-time. He is 41 points from moving past St. Cloud State University great Dan Hagen for ninth all-time. In addition, Cleary needs just 163 points to surpass Joe Hasz for the school scoring record at Minnesota Crookston. The mark has been in place for 16 years.

    Josh Collins (Sr., F, Minneapolis, Minn.) continued his strong play for the Golden Eagles with 19 points and seven rebounds. Collins is notching 14.3 points per game over the last four excursions for Minnesota Crookston. Malcolm Cohen (R-Jr., G/F, Detroit, Mich.) added 17 points off the bench on 7-of-14 from the field, and 2-of-6 from beyond the arc. Ben Juhl (So., G, Clive, Iowa) chipped in 15 points, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.

    The Golden Eagles shot 37-of-68 from the field for 54.4 percent, as they had a great night offensively. Minnesota Crookston was 8-of-22 from beyond the arc for 36.4 percent, and 6-of-10 from the stripe for 60.0 percent.

    The Golden Eagles moved the ball around effectively with 13 assists to just six turnovers.

    The difference in the game occurred on the boards and defensively. Minnesota Crookston was out-rebounded 38-22, including 12 offensive boards for the Dragons. In addition, the Golden Eagles allowed their most points to a foe this season, as they got away what had aided them to three-straight wins coming into yesterday’s game with Northern State University.

    MSU Moorhead finished the game 37-of-64 for 57.8 percent for the field. The Dragons were 9-of-18 from beyond the arc for 50.0 percent. In addition, MSU Moorhead was 18-of-21 for 85.7 percent from the foul line.

    The Dragons also had a great ball movement, as they notched 17 assists to just eight turnovers.

    MSU Moorhead had five players score in double-figures, paced by 23 points off the bench from Irsfeld, who was 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. Beeninga added 19 points on 8-of-12 from the field, and 2-of-2 from behind the three-point line. Addison Park notched 16 points off the bench. Travaun Coad finished with 14 points and seven boards, while Gavin Baumgartner tallied 13 points and seven rebounds.

    The Dragons got out to an early 6-2 lead in the game following a Coad basket. The Golden Eagles were able to close the gap to 8-5 on a Collins bucket. The Dragons extended their lead out to 11-5 with a Park old-fashioned three-point play.

    Minnesota Crookston then countered with a 4-0 run as they cut the deficit to 11-9 with a Cohen old-fashioned three-point play with 15:23 remaining in the first half. The Dragons responded with a 5-0 run as they moved their lead to 16-9 with a Beeninga trey.

    Minnesota Crookston came away with five-straight points from Cohen to close the gap to within two at 16-14. The Dragons were able to hold off the charge with a Park triple to extend their advantage to 19-14. MSU Moorhead utilized their momentum from Park’s play as they went on a 16-8 run to move their lead to 32-22 with a Jake Johnson jumper.

    Minnesota Crookston slowly chipped away at the Dragon lead as they pulled to within 38-36 on a Cohen three-pointer with 3:46 remaining in the half. The Golden Eagles were able to knot the tilt up 38-38 on their next possession as Cohen connected on the jumper.

    The two teams traded baskets the rest of the way in the first half as the squads went into the locker room knotted up 42-42.

    MSU Moorhead was quick to get going in the second stanza as they utilized a 6-0 run out of the gate to take a 48-42 lead. A jumper from Cleary cut the lead down to 48-44. However, the Dragons used an 8-2 run to move the gap to 56-46 on a Jesse Bergh jumper with 15:53 remaining the game.

    Minnesota Crookston was able to slice the deficit down to 58-51 with a Cleary triple. However, the Dragons countered right back with a 4-0 run to widen their lead out to 62-51 on a Baumgartner bucket.

    The Golden Eagles cut the lead down to eight at 63-55 with a Cohen bucket with 12:33 remaining in the game. However, the Dragons countered with a 12-5 run to take their advantage out to 75-60 on an Irsfeld trey.

    Minnesota Crookston would be able to cut the deficit to within nine on a Cleary free throw with 3:54 remaining. However, that would be as close as the Golden Eagles would get the rest of the way as they fell 101-88 to the Dragons.

    The Golden Eagles will have their final non-conference game of the 2018-19 campaign Tues., Jan. 15 against University of Jamestown at Lysaker Gymnasium in Crookston, Minn.