The Golden Eagles improve their record to 15-12 (7-10 NSIC).

CROOKSTON, Minn.--The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team would close their weekend series with a sweep by defeating Concordia-St. Paul 81-61 on Sat., Feb. 9 at Lysaker Gymnasium. 

    Javier Nicolau (Jr., C, Castellon, Spain) would lead the Golden Eagles with 17 points, followed by Brian Sitzmann (R-fr., G, Savage, Minn.) and Malcolm Cohen (R-Jr., G/F, Detroit, Mich.) who each had 15.  Harrison Cleary (Jr., G, Oak Creek, Wis.) would also come out big by surpassing Joe Hasz as the new and current all-time leading scorer for Minnesota Crookston Men’s Basketball.

    The Golden Eagles improve their record to 15-12 (7-10 NSIC). With the loss, the Golden Bears fall to 8-16 overall and 3-15 in the NSIC. The Golden Bears are currently in seventh place in the South.

    Tonight’s game would be a historic one as well.  This win would mark their eighth conference victory, surpassing the school record, which was seven.  Minnesota Crookston also tied the school record for the most three-pointers in a game, which was 15.  The record was set back in 2003 when Joe Hasz was still on the roster.  Players that contributed three-pointers include Knickerbocker (four), Cleary (three), Cohen (two), Sitzmann (three), Nicolau (two) and Ben Juhl (So., G, Clive, Iowa) (one).

    Harrison Cleary continues to make his mark at Minnesota Crookston. Cleary is first all-time in scoring at Minnesota Crookston, by scoring his fifth point early on in the first half. In yesterday’s win over Minnesota State, Cleary moved into fifth all-time in NSIC scoring, by passing Cody Schilling. With his 11 points tonight, Cleary now just needs 27 points to pass Cameron McCaffery of Augustana for fourth all-time. Cleary has a very real chance of moving even farther up the charts this year, needing just 66 points to pass former Minot State great Tyler Rudolph for third all-time.

    After coming off a big win against Minnesota State University, the Golden Eagles would open up the contest with a 5-2 lead with a layup by Josh Collins, followed by a three-point shot from Brian Sitzmann.

    The Golden Bears would come back to take the lead with points by Isaiah McKay and Bryndan Matthews. 

    Another two points by Sitzmann would ultimately close the gap, making the score 9-8, with the Golden Eagles taking the lead.  Matthews would come back again to put Concordia-St. Paul ahead, but after a foul SItzmann would score two free throws to close the gap once more.

    At 14:51, Nicolau would have a big three to make the score 12-8, Golden Eagles.  After two missed plays by Concordia-St. Paul, Minnesota Crookston would win the ball back.

    A Cleary three-pointer would extend the lead to 15-8, which would also make him the all-time leading scorer in U of M Crookston men’s basketball history, surpassing Joe Hasz.

    With 4:24 left in the first half, Cody Carlson would make two layups to cut down the point deficit.  However, it was followed by a dunk from Nicolau to put the score 38-24 with the Golden Eagles taking the lead.

    At 3:30 Matthews would have a steal, followed by an unassisted layup.  Once again at 2:11 his teammate, Elliot Kane, would steal have a steal from Cleary which set up Matthews for another layup, making the score 38-31, UMC in the lead.

    At the end of the half, the Golden Eagles would lead the Golden Bears 44-31.  Cleary led Minnesota Crookston in points with 11, followed by SItzmann and Nicolau who each had 10. 

    Bryndan Matthews would lead Concordia-St. Paul in points with 14.  He went 6-8 for field goals and 1-1 for three-pointers. 

    Minnesota Crookston would come out of the locker room big, making the score 53-33 five minutes into the second half. 

    Malcolm Cohen would open scoring with a three-pointer at 18:40, followed by a dunk by Nicolau.

    Matthews would be a big playmaker for the Golden Bears, but it would not be enough to stop the Golden Eagle offense. 

    With 6:06 left in the game, Chase Johnson would have a big dunk, making the score 74-47 with Minnesota Crookston in the lead.   

    The Golden Eagles would defeat Concordia-St. Paul 81-61.  Javier Nicolau who had the most points throughout the night with 17 led the win with an outstanding effort.

    Bryndan Matthews led Concordia-St.Paul throughout the night who finished the game with 19 points, the most on the team.

    Minnesota Crookston also tied the school three-pointer record as well.  The record was set back in 2003 when Joe Hasz was on the team. 

    As a team, Minnesota Crookston took apart the two-three zone of the Golden Bears, by knocking down 15 threes, the 12th time they have knocked down double digit threes in a game. The Golden Eagles shot 41.5 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from the three point line. Minnesota Crookston had a whopping 22 second half points.

     The push to the Pentagon continues next weekend as the Golden Eagles will host Minot State and UMary on Friday and Saturday. Minnesota Crookston and Minot State will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon in a huge game in the standings. The Golden Eagles and the Marauders will do battle Saturday night at 5:30 p.m., in Lysaker Gymnasium.