MSUM Men Use Big Second Half to Drop Mustangs, 98-79

MOORHEAD, Minn. (MSUM Athletics) -- The Minnesota State University Moorhead men's basketball team defeated Southwest Minnesota State by a score of 98-79 on Friday night in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action.

MSUM improves to 17-8 overall and 11-6 in the NSIC while SMSU falls to 13-10 overall and 8-9 in the NSIC.

Senior guard Travaun Coad led the team with 23 points and nine rebounds, while freshmen Siman Sem and Wyatt Hanson each contributed eight rebounds. Freshman guard Bryce Irsfeld recorded 19 points and was 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. Senior forward Addison Park and junior guard Johnny Beeninga had 15 points and 13 points, respectively.

The Dragons shot 53.8 percent (35-of-65) from the field compared to 43.3 percent (29-of-67) for the Mustangs. MSUM outrebounded SMSU 47-26.

Coad got the scoring started with a layup at the 19:22 mark in the first half. SMSU would lead 17-10 before a six-point run brought the Dragons within one with 12:02 on the clock. The Dragons continued to keep the game close and tied things up 23-23 off a Coad three-pointer with 10 minutes to go in the half. MSUM would reclaim the lead after a Hanson three-pointer brought the score to 28-27. The
Mustangs grabbed the lead back with just over one-minute remaining, but another three from Coad allowed for a 45-44 Dragon lead going into the break.

The Dragons would open the second half with an 18-2 scoring run to build their lead to 63-46 with 14:53 and from there would pull away, leading by as many as 27 points.

Irsfeld would hit three free-throws, followed by a three-pointer to give MSUM an 80-59 edge with eight minutes remaining. With 5:32 on the clock, a dunk from Coad gave MSUM their largest lead of the night as they led 93-66.

MSUM is back in action on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in Nemzek fieldhouse as they face University of Sioux Falls (S.D.).