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#DragonsMarchOn: MSUM Men Advance in NCAA Tourney, Top Wildcats 84-72

Gavin Baumgartner before draining one of his six first-half three-pointers.
Gavin Baumgartner before draining one of his six first-half three-pointers.(KVLY)
Published: Mar. 13, 2021 at 10:44 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (MSUM ATHLETICS) - A strong all-around effort helped the Minnesota State University Moorhead advance in the NCAA tournament with an 84-72 win over Wayne State on Saturday night at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen, S.D.

MSUM improved to 11-4 on the year while Wayne State ended the season at 11-7.

Beeninga Delivers:

Redshirt freshman guard Jacob Beeninga provided a key spark off the bench for MSUM. He had 16 points in 19 minutes on 5-of-7 shooting. He was 2-for-3 from downtown.

Further Inside the Numbers:

Junior guard Lorenzo McGhee had 15 points and seven rebounds while senior forward Gatdoar Kueth had 13 points. Junior center Jesse Bergh chipped in with a season-high 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting.

MSUM shot 53.3 percent (24-of-45) while holding the Wildcats to 40.4 percent (23-of-57).

Quotes:

Head Coach Chad Walthall: “I’m really proud of our guys. They are not an easy team to play. They rely on pressure defense. Most of the time we handled it well. When we took care of it, we got some great shots.”

Junior guard Gavin Baumgartner: “I liked our poise tonight. All week we talked about how tough these guys are. Any time, you know they’re going to make their runs. I like how we battled with some of that adversity. I thought we were pretty locked in. I was proud of our effort there.”

Bench Steps Up Big:

Led by the 16 points from Beeninga and 11 from Bergh, MSUM’s bench outscored Wayne State 34-6.

Solid at the Stripe:

MSUM shot 84.8 percent (28-of-33) from the foul line in the game. That is the second-best percentage in a game this season for the Dragons.

Half Full:

MSUM held a 43-30 halftime lead. Beeninga had 12 first-half points while McGhee had 11.

Streak Intact:

MSUM has won 11 straight games against Wayne State.

Back in the NCAA:

MSUM was playing in its first NCAA tournament since the 2016-17 season, and the Dragons picked up their first tourney win since beating Northwest Missouri State, 47-42 on March 17, 2015 in the regional final. The Dragons have played in five NCAA tournaments in the past 10 years, and four in the past seven.

Up Next:

MSUM will face top-seeded Northern State at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen. It will be the fourth meet in the past 23 days between the north rivals.

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