UMC's early struggles the difference in 72-61 loss to Minot State

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Ethan Channel scored 19 points in Minnesota Crookston's 72-61 loss to Minot State Friday night.

Last weekend at Northern State, the Minnesota Crookston men's basketball team got off to two strong starts against the nation's No. 2 team, leading well into the first half in both games before eventually losing.

On Friday night against Minot State, the Golden Eagles couldn't replicate those strong starts, and in fact, the opposite took place. A second-half rally proved fruitless, and they fell 72-61 at home to the Beavers, losing their fifth straight game.

Minot State jumped all over UMC (1-6, 0-5 NSIC) at first, scoring the first nine points of the game and eventually leading by as much as 26-8 with 8:37 left before halftime. The Golden Eagles began to right the ship somewhat, though, and closed to within eight at halftime, ending the half on a 6-0 run and a 3-pointer by Ethan Channel.

Brian Sitzmann (Rs. Jr., G) knocked down two free throws to bring UMC within 54-49 with nine minutes to play. That was as close as the Golden Eagles would get. The Beavers (3-4, 1-2) went on a 16-4 run, including 10 straight points, to take an insurmountable 70-53 lead with 2:20 remaining.

Minnesota Crookston came in averaging just 66.8 points per game (the second-lowest figure in the NSIC), and once again struggled on offense. It shot just 36 percent from the field and 23 percent from beyond the arc. During a nearly eight-minute span during the second half, lasting from the 10:04 to the 2:10 mark, the Golden Eagles didn't hit a shot from the floor.

Channel was one of the few bright spots, scoring 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. The junior guard is averaging 14.4 points over his last five games.

UMC's other saving grace was its free-throw shooting. It got to the line 27 times and knocked down 20 of its attempts.

Melvin Newbern was MiSU's biggest standout, filling the stat sheet with 15 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles and Beavers meet again at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

BOX SCORE

Minnesota Crookston 27-34—61

Minot State 35-37—72

MINNESOTA CROOKSTON STATS

  • Points: Ethan Channel 19, Brian Sitzmann 10, Ibu Jassey Demba 10, Leonard Dixon 7
  • Rebounds: Ethan Channel 5, Ibu Jassey Demba 5, Brian Sitzmann 4
  • Assists: Brian Sitzmann 2, Ibu Jassey Demba 2, Josh Dilling 2
  • Steals: Brian Sitzmann 1, Leonard Dixon 1
  • Blocks: Brian Sitzmann 1, Ibu Jassey Demba 1, Quintin Winterfeldt 1
  • Team: 18-50 field goals, 5-22 3-pointers, 20-27 free throws

MINOT STATE STATS

  • Points: Sam Ohlrich 20, Max Cody 17, Melvin Newbern 15, Camron Dunfee 11
  • Rebounds: Melvin Newbern 13, Kody Dwyer 6, Steven Ross Jr. 6
  • Assists: Max Cody 4, Camron Dunfee 3, Melvin Newbern 3
  • Steals: Melvin Newbern 2, Steven Ross Jr. 2
  • Blocks: Sam Ohlrich 2
  • Team: 28-56 field goals, 7-18 3-pointers, 9-16 free throws

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