“When you have a guy lilke Assem getting double-teamed it really opens it up for the shooters,” said Adler, who connected on 10 of 14 field-goal attempts and 6 of 7 from beyond the arc. “We did everything we wanted to do tonight and really executed our plays. We were attacking their man-to-man and going after their big guys because we had size on them.
“We kept getting the ball down low, and they couldn’t stop our posts one-on-one. We played our gaps well defensively, and our big guys shut their posts down. When that happens you can run out in transition. I kind of struggled with my shooting (Friday) so tonight I knew I had to bring it.”
Marei’s lone bucket of the second half — a driving banker — got things stared for the Mavericks, and quickly, the cushion grew to 62-36 on Mike Busack’s left-wing triple with 13:12 to go. O’Brien finished with 11 points and a team-best 10 boards for the winners, who also received eight points and a team-high 10 assists from Monaghan. Busack chipped in 11 points, and Romashko totaled 10.
“We’re really deep, and we know what to do offensively,” Marei said. “We just let the game come to us, and we really worked hard defensively this weekend. My teammates do a great job of finding me in the post and them move around me. We knew they couldn’t keep up with because of how deep we are. ... We just stuck with it.”
Duluth, which made just 19 of 63 shots from the field for 30.6 percent, was led by Crawford’s 16 points. Minnesota State, which dominated the boards 52-30, fired in 29 of 56 from the field for 51.8 percent.
Minnesota State plays Friday at Northern State.