Men's Basketball Dominates at Dacotah Bank Classic

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team picked up both wins against Presentation College and Midwestern State University in the Dacotah Bank Classic on November 26 and 27. 

In the contest against Midwestern State University, the Golden Eagles picked up a 68-60 win as four players scored in double figures. Ethan Channel led the team with 14 points, Uzo Dibiamaka followed with 12 points, and both Brian Sitzmann and Nathaniel Powell had 12.  

The Mustangs scored first with a three-pointer from Jalin Brown, but Zen Goodridge responded with two points in the paint. The two teams then went scoreless for the next four minutes.  

Leonard Dixon ended the scoring draught with a fast-break three-pointer to take a 2-point lead, but Midwestern tied the game up on their next possession.  

The Mustangs led by four twice in the remainder of the half, but the Golden Eagles used an 8-point run with just over four minutes left to take a 24-18 lead. In the run, Powell had four points off layups, Sitzmann added a layup and Dixon and Channel had one free throw apiece.  

Midwestern cut Crookston’s lead to three, but a three-pointer from Sitzmann and dunk from Powell padded the Golden Eagles’ lead to eight going into the half.  

The Mustangs scored the first points in the second half, but Dibiamaka and Goodridge extended Crookston’s lead to 11 with a three-pointer and jumper, respectively.  

Midwestern then went on a 9-point run that started with John Weger going 3-3 from the free throw line after being fouled by Powell while shooting a three.  

Sitzmann’s second three of the night ended the Mustangs scoring run, and he, Powell, Channel and Dibiamaka went on their own run to go up by 13, the Golden Eagles’ largest lead the of the game. 

Once again Midwestern was able to respond and cut the lead to just five points, but it didn’t last long. Channel, Goodridge and Dibiamaka quickly responded to put the Golden Eagles up by 12.  

The two teams went back and forth the rest of the game, but Crookston ultimately came out on top, scoring their last point on a free throw from Sitzmann. 

Aside from the top four scorers, Goodridge got on the board with 8 points and a team-leading 9 rebounds. Dixon added 7 points with 5 assists, and Sam Tiley had 5 points.  

On the previous night, Crookston dominated over NAIA opponent Presentation University with a 75-44 victory. All 16 Golden Eagles got playing time, while 10 of them contributed offensively.  

Presentation took an early 2-0 lead, but the Golden Eagles battled back and forth with the Saints for the next eight minutes. After being tied at 12 with 11:51 left in the first half, Crookston took the lead with a three-pointer from Dibiamaka and never looked back. 

The Golden Eagles went on a 7-point run with three points from Zach Westphal and the other four from Dixon. Dibiamaka and Powell extended Crookston’s to 11 roughly three minutes later. Presentation’s Eric Montanez stalled the momentum, but Dibiamaka and Powell got right back at it to put the Golden Eagles up 38-23 at half.  

After five minutes in the second half, the Golden Eagles extended their lead to 22 with back-to-back three-pointers from Dixon and Sitzmann. Crookston increased their lead with a 9-point run, highlighted by back-to-back layups from Westphal, three points from Jerome Mabry and two fast-break points from Dylan Hushaw.  

The Saints stalled the Golden Eagles’ run with a jumper from Tyler Kartchner, but Mabry responded on the next possession. Hushaw added to Mabry’s efforts with a three-pointer, giving Crookston its largest lead of the game at 33.  

Hunter Lyman scored Crookston’s final points of the game, as the Golden Eagles ran away with a 31-point victory. 

Dibiamaka and Dixon led the Golden Eagles offensively with 19 and 18 points, respectively. Dibiamaka also led Crookston on the boards, as he grabbed 6 rebounds. The Golden Eagle bench outscored the Saints’ bench 26-19. Westphal and Mabry led the bench with 7 points apiece, while Hushaw added 5. 

The men’s basketball team returns to Crookston for its second conference game against St. Cloud State University on Thursday, December 2 at 5:30 p.m. 

Nathaniel Powell makes a move in the post.
Uzo Dibiamaka goes to the bucket contested.
Leonard Dixon pulls up for a jumper against Northern Michigan.
Brian Sitzmann shoots a free throw.
Jerome Mabry dribbles passed a Northern Michigan defender.