The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

February 8, 2014

Mavericks not perfect, but close in easy win

MANKATO — There can be no perfect game in basketball.

There's always going to be fouls and turnovers, and not every shot will go in. There might even be a missed boxout or a pass the gets deflected.

But Saturday, in the final regular-season home game, Minnesota State played nearly as well as it can.

"No question, this was a great team win," coach Matt Margenthaler said. "Everybody played well, very unselfish and stayed within the game plan. It was a great way to send out their seniors."

The Mavericks shot 60 percent from the field, made 26 assists on 39 field goals and had a 44-39 rebounding advantage in a 109-64 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men's basketball game Saturday at Bresnan Arena. It was the final regular-season home game, and the Mavericks went out with their most complete game.

"I think this was our best team win," senior Connor O'Brien said. "Everyone got involved and shared the ball. From a senior's perspective, that shows you the underclassmen were doing it for you, which is pretty cool."

In the first 10 minutes, point guard Zach Monaghan was the show. He scored 16 points, making 4 of 4 from 3-point range. He had two steals that led to fast-break points, and he had two assists, one of which went to O'Brien on a lob.

And the Mavericks led 31-12.

The Mavericks stayed on the gas, pushing the lead to 40-16 on Assem Marei's three-point play. The Mavericks scored the final 12 points of the half to lead 58-25. Monaghan had assists on the final four baskets, and Tanner Adler converted two free throws on a flagrant foul.

The Mavericks shot 70.0 percent in the opening half, which included 6 of 8 shooting from the 3-point line.

"We were rebounding well," O'Brien said. "It helps that Sioux Falls didn't shoot very well, but when we rebound, we get out and run. We built the big lead, and I think (Sioux Falls) gave up a little. But we stuck with it."

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