The Golden Eagles record improves to 16-13 overall and 9-11 in the NSIC.

CROOKSTON - The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team closed the weekend with a 72-60 win over the University of Mary on Sat. Feb 16 at Lysaker Gymnasium.  The Golden Eagles record improves to 16-13 overall and 9-11 in the NSIC with only two games left in the regular season.  The loss for the Marauders drops their record to 11-15 overall and 8-13 in the NSIC.

    The star of Saturday night’s game was Harrison Cleary (Jr., G, Oak Creek, Wis) who had 23 points.  These points once again helped him climb up the NSIC top scorers to surpass Cameron McCaffey of Augustana.  He is now fourth overall for scoring in the NSIC.  Javier Nicolau (Jr., F/C, Castellon, Spain) also was a key player for the Golden Eagles, he scored 14 points and was followed by Josh Collins (Sr., F, Minneapolis, Minn) who had 10 points.

    From the field, the Golden Eagles shot 44.1 percent in the paint and 33.3 percent for three pointers.  They outshot the University of Mary, who shot 40.4 percent from the field and 14.3 percent for three pointers.  Minnesota Crookston had 34 rebounds on the night, and 24 of those were defensive.

    It would be a close first half between the Golden Eagles and the Marauders.  Each team went back and forth for the lead until Brian Sitzmann (R-fr., G, Savage, Minn.) hit a three making the score 14-9, with Minnesota Crookston ahead.  This point gap kept the Golden Eagles ahead for the rest of the half.  Chase Knickerbocker (Sr., G/F, Annandale, Minn.) had a pair of three-pointers, which widened the point deficit even more.  Minnesota Crookston headed into the locker room with a twelve-point lead.  

    Minnesota Crookston was led by Javier Nicolau who had 12 points, making five of his six shots and two free throws. Harrison Cleary followed behind him by putting up seven points.  

    The Golden Eagles were 16-28 for field goals, with a percentage of 57.1.  For three-pointers, they were 3-7 with a percentage of 42.9.

    Minnesota Crookston’s strong defense kept them intact by giving them a lead.  Chase Knickerbocker, Darin Viken (Sr., G, Fosston, Minn.) , and Ben Juhl (So., G, Clive, Iowa) each had three defensive rebounds which helped their play.

    Matthew Kreklow was a key player for the Marauders in the first half, leading with nine points.  He was followed by teammate Jaylan White who had eight points.  Kreklow was 3-4 and Jaylan White was 2-7 for field goals and 1-3 for three-pointers.

    The Marauders shot 10-26 for field goals with a percentage of 38.5.  From beyond the arc, they were 8-11 with a percentage of 72.7.

    The Golden Eagles came back onto the court and continued their strong play.  Keeping a steady 10-point lead, the University of Mary defense was unable to stop them.  Cleary scored five points within a minute, putting the Golden Eagles up 56-42.  His five points also made him fourth in all-time NSIC scoring, surpassing Cameron McCaffrey of Augustana.  The Golden Eagles ended up defeating the Marauders 72-60.

    Minnesota Crookston had three key players who led the team in points to help defeat The University of Mary.  Harrison Cleary had the most of the night, he had 23 points.  He was followed by Javier Nicolau who had 14 points, Nicolau went 6-9 for field goals.  Next was Josh Collins who ended his last game at Lysaker Gymnasium with 10 points, he went 5-6 for field goals.  The Golden Eagles shot 32.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from beyond the arc.  They went 10-31 for field goals during the second half and 3-11 for three-pointers.

    Jaylan White would end the night with 22 points, he was 8-14 from inside the arc, beyond it he was 1-3.  Matthew Kreklow had 17 points, the second most of the night.  The Marauders shot 42.3 percent from the field, and 16.7 percent for three-pointers.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston ends their home schedule with a 13-2 record.  They will face the University of Minnesota Duluth on Feb. 22 at 7:30 pm in Duluth, Minn. and St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn. on Feb. 23 at 5:30 pm.