Men's Basketball Falls to 1-4 in NSIC

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team suffered two conference losses this weekend at home. 

With just over 10 minutes left in the second half against Minnesota State University Moorhead, it looked like the Golden Eagles were going to get their second conference win. The Dragons went on a 22-0 run late in the second half, however, to get the 75-60 win. 

Crookston had a short lead to start the game with points from Nathaniel Powell and Ethan Channel, but Moorhead tied the game at 7 just under six minutes into the game. For the next 11 minutes, the Dragons had the lead despite the Golden Eagles’ attempts to steal it back. 

Channel tied the game up and took the lead back for Crookston with a layup and subsequent free throw. Dylan Hushaw extended the lead to four with a three-pointer, but MSUM scored the last five points of the half for a 1-point lead. 

Leonard Dixon initially gave the Golden Eagles a 2-point lead to start the second half, but the Dragons quickly took it back. Determined to grind out the win, Dixon flipped a switch. He scored Crookston’s next 11 points in a matter of three minutes. Brian Sitzmann and Uzo Dibiamaka extended the lead to 7 with just under 11 minutes left in the game. 

As quickly as the Golden Eagles gained the lead, they lost it. The Dragons responded with 22 unanswered points to go up by 14. In the last four minutes of the game, Crookston scored just nine more points. Powell had two on free throws, Sitzmann shot a three and bench players Jerome Mabry and Hunter Lyman had one layup each. 

Dixon, Powell and Sitzmann all scored in double figures with 14, 11 and 10 points, respectively. Dixon and Powell also led in rebounds with 5 and 6, respectively. Channel had 4 rebounds.  

The Golden Eagles experienced similar results against Northern Statue University. 

Channel scored 5 of Crookston’s first 8 points to give them a 4-point lead. The Wolves took the lead just under five minutes in with a three-pointer from Augustin Reede.  

The Golden Eagles worked it back to a tie with ten minutes left on a jumper from Zach Westphal, but Northern State kept the edge. They went into the locker room with a 4-point lead at half. 

The Wolves dominated the second half, extending their lead to 15 points with just over 13 minutes left in the game. This was the largest lead Northern State had in the entire game. Channel and Sitzmann combined for a 5-point run to bring the game within six, but that’s the closest the Golden Eagles got. The final score was 76-65 Northern State University. 

Dixon, Channel and Sitzmann led the Golden Eagles once again offensively. Dixon and Channel had 18 points each, while Sitzmann had 16. Sitzmann and Dibiamaka grabbed the most rebounds with 5 and 4, respectively.  

The Golden Eagles continue conference play with a match up against the Minot Beavers on Friday, December 17 at 5:30 p.m. 

Dixon dribbles between two defenders.
Jerome Mabry goes for a layup.
Brian Sitzmann was one of three Golden Eagles to score in double digits against MSUM.
Ethan Channel dribbles on a fast break.
Nathaniel Powell shoots from the free-throw line.