The Free Press, Mankato, MN

December 15, 2012

2nd-half surge carries MSU past Sioux Falls

The Free Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Minnesota State outscored Sioux Falls 42-23 in the second half and rolled to a 74-52 victory in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men’s basketball game Saturday.

“We started playing more as a team at both ends of the floor,” coach Matt Margenthaler said. “In the first half, we got frustrated with ourselves and some of the calls. In the second half, we just changed our attitude and played as well for a half as we have in a long time.”

Minnesota State led 32-29 at halftime but then shot 65.4 percent in the second half, making 7 of 10 from 3-point range. Sioux Falls made only 9 of 23 shots, including 2 of 10 on 3-pointers.

Minnesota State center Assem Marei recorded his third consecutive double-double, posting 16 points and 13 rebounds, a season-high for Marei.

Guard Jarvis Williams and guard Zach Monaghan added 17 and 14 points, respectively.

“(Marei has) been a double-double machine lately, and he continues to get better,” Margenthaler said. “I think it helps that Jarvis is playing so well, and by him being aggressive, it opens things up for Assem. Those guys had a great weekend.”

Minnesota State opened the second half with a 16-7 run thanks to 3-pointers by Zach Monaghan, Zach Romashko, Jimmy Whitehead and Gage Wooten, opening a 48-36 lead with 15 minutes remaining. From that point on, Minnesota State maintained a double-digit lead.

Minnesota State had a 39-13 rebounding advantage, including 17-4 on the offensive glass.

Minnesota State (8-1, 4-1 in Northern Sun) returns to action Jan. 4 at Augustana.

“We’re getting better every game,” Margenthaler said. “We have so much potential and room for improvement that it really excites us as a staff.”