St. Cloud State withstands furious Golden Eagle charge to win, 74-70

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Ibu Jassey Demba scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds in Minnesota Crookston's 74-70 loss to St. Cloud State Friday evening.

With 6:26 to play, all looked lost for the Minnesota Crookston men's basketball team.

St. Cloud State's Nick Grantham had just nailed a 3-pointer to put his team up 70-51, and the Golden Eagles needed a miracle.

That's just what they got — almost.

UMC scored 17 unanswered points over the game's final six minutes to get within two, and even had a final possession with a chance to tie or take the lead. But the Huskies held on to win, 74-70, Friday evening at Lysaker Gymnasium.

St. Cloud State (6-7 overall, 4-5 NSIC) began the game on a 12-2 run before the Golden Eagles pulled back to within four. After a period of choppy play that included three minutes without a basket by either team, the Huskies started to pull away. They scored 23 of the final 28 points of the half to take a 47-24 lead into the break.

UMC (2-11, 1-10) regrouped in the second half by shooting 58 percent from the floor and holding the Huskies to 29 percent — percentages that were essentially flipped in the first half. Still, the Golden Eagles' charge didn't begin until six minutes left. That's when Brian Sitzmann (Rs. Jr., G) scored eight straight points, including two 3-pointers, to spark the rally.

With 48 seconds left, Leonard Dixon (Jr., F) drilled a trey to bring UMC within 70-68. The Golden Eagles then forced a missed shot, but Ibu Jassey Demba (Sr., F) turned it over with 12 seconds to go.

Minnesota Crookston was forced to play the foul game from there, and Ryan Bagley went 4-of-4 from the line to ice the game for St. Cloud State.

Dixon led the Golden Eagles with 21 points, shooting 9-of-16 from the field. Jassey Demba added 14 points, and Sitzmann scored 13. Anthony Roberts put up a 23-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Huskies.

UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles and Huskies meet again Saturday at 1:30 in what will be the final home game of the season for UMC. 

BOX SCORE

Minnesota Crookston 24-46—70

St. Cloud State 47-27—74

MINNESOTA CROOKSTON STATS

  • Points: Leonard Dixon 21, Ibu Jassey Demba 14, Brian Sitzmann 13, Josh Dilling 11
  • Rebounds: Ibu Jassey Demba 7, Leonard Dixon 6, Quintin Winterfeldt 6
  • Assists: Josh Dilling 5, Ibu Jassey Demba 2
  • Steals: Brian Sitzmann 4, Ibu Jassey Demba 3, Leonard Dixon 2
  • Blocks: Leonard Dixon 2
  • Team: 25-59 field goals, 7-24 3-pointers, 13-18 free throws

ST. CLOUD STATE STATS

  • Points: Anthony Roberts 23, Josh Tomasi 16, Matthew Willert 11
  • Rebounds: Anthony Roberts 12, Matthew Willert 9 Josh Tomasi 7
  • Assists: Joe Mutimer 3, several with 2
  • Steals: Anthony Roberts 2, Ryan Bagley 2
  • Blocks: several with 1
  • Team: 27-68 field goals, 5-22 3-pointers, 15-21 free throws

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