The Golden Eagles improve to 13-8 (6-6 NSIC).
CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball used a 42-10 run in the first 15 minutes of the second half to propel them to a 100-69 rout over Upper Iowa University. The Golden Eagles scored over 100 points in conference play for the second time during the 2018-19 season on their way to the decisive victory. Minnesota Crookston extends their win streak to three with Saturday’s win.
The Golden Eagles improve to 13-8 (6-6 NSIC) as they continue to post their best season in program history. Minnesota Crookston sits in fifth place in the NSIC North, one game back of University of Minnesota Duluth in fourth place. The Golden Eagles have won their last two games over the Peacocks. Upper Iowa falls to 6-12 (3-9 NSIC) with Saturday’s loss.
Minnesota Crookston had an impressive offensive performance with four players tallying double figures. Harrison Cleary (Jr., G, Oak Creek, Wis.), who was named to the Bevo Francis Award Watch List earlier this week, finished with 25 points on 8-of-14 from the field, 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-5 from the foul line. Cleary moved to ninth all-time in career scoring in the NSIC with 1,331 points. Cleary needs six points to move past Scottie Stone of St. Cloud State University for eighth all-time, and 17 points to move past Casey Schilling of Augustana University for seventh all-time in NSIC history. In addition, Cleary needs 91 points to surpass Joe Hasz for the school record at Minnesota Crookston, which Hasz has held for the last 16 years.
Chase Knickerbocker (Sr., G/F, Annandale, Minn.) added 21 points on 6-of-12 from the field, 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, and 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. Knickerbocker added nine rebounds on the night. Knickerbocker completed one of his best weekends as a Golden Eagles as he averaged 25.5 points and 7.5 rebounds over the two games this weekend. He shot 10-of-20 for 50.0 percent from behind the three-point line on the weekend.
Brian Sitzmann (R-Fr., G, Prior Lake, Minn.) scored a career-high 18 points on 7-of-10 from the field, and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. Malcolm Cohen (R-Jr., G/F, Detroit, Mich.) added 12 points. Josh Collins (Sr., F, Minneapolis, Minn.) chipped in eight points and four rebounds.
The Golden Eagles were 34-of-63 for 54.0 percent from the field. Minnesota Crookston shot 13-of-25 for 52.0 percent from behind the three-point line. The Golden Eagles shot 19-of-24 for 79.2 percent from the charity stripe. Minnesota Crookston had 13 assists to 13 turnovers on the day.
The Golden Eagles dominated the glass on the night with 44 rebounds to just 24 for Upper Iowa. Minnesota Crookston had 12 offensive rebounds.
Upper Iowa looked to 15 points from Jareese Williams to lead the way. Jackson Joens added 11 points, while Sam Allen chipped in 10 points. Munachiso Okonkwo added eight points.
The Peacocks were held by the Minnesota Crookston defense to just 23-of-61 for 37.7 percent. Upper Iowa shot 11-of-28 for 39.3 percent from beyond the arc. The Peacocks were 12-of-13 for 92.3 percent from the foul line.
Upper Iowa had 14 turnovers on the game. Minnesota Crookston moves to 11-0 when holding opponents under 70 points this season.
Minnesota Crookston ran out to an 11-0 lead guided by nine points on three treys from Cleary. The Golden Eagles moved their lead to 15-5 after a pair of Knickerbocker free throws. The Peacocks were able to cut the deficit down to 18-13 with an 8-3 run propelled by a pair of triples by Joens. Minnesota Crookston countered with back-to-back three-pointers from Sitzmann and Darin Viken (Sr., G, Fosston, Minn.) as they extended their lead to 24-13.
Upper Iowa pulled to within 26-20 on a Williams trey. The Golden Eagles then utilized a 14-2 run to widen their advantage out to 40-22 on a Cohen jumper. Minnesota Crookston moved their lead out to 46-28 after a pair of Knickerbocker free throws.
The Peacocks closed the first half on an 8-3 run as they went into the locker room trailing 49-36 to the Golden Eagles.
Minnesota Crookston opened the second half on a 26-5 run as they pushed their advantage out to 75-41 with 10:53 left in the game. Okonkwo hit a bucket to cut the deficit to 32 for the Peacocks. However, the Golden Eagles kept on rolling as they used a 16-5 run to move their lead out to 91-46 following a Knickerbocker three-pointer. Upper Iowa was able to cut the lead down to 31 on a Allen trey, but it would not be enough as Minnesota Crookston had a triumphant 100-69 win over the Peacocks.
The Golden Eagles return to action Fri., Jan. 25 at University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D. The road tilt begins a four-game road trip for Minnesota Crookston.