The Free Press, Mankato, MN


January 17, 2014

MSU bigs control Augustana

MANKATO — Behind the over-powering inside play of Assem Marei and Connor O’Brien, the Minnesota State men’s basketball team controlled the tempo from the start, racing to an 84-77 victory over Augustana in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action at Bresnan Arena on Friday.

In his first game after entering MSU’s coveted 1,000-point club, O’Brien finished 7 of 9 from the floor and tallied 15 points, while Marei chipped in 18 points. Augustana may have had the overall height advantage, as four of five starters went 6-foot-5 or more, but the inside play of these two was too much for Augie.

Minnesota State scored 36 of their 84 points in the paint, while Augustana summed 28 inside. Casey Schilling and Daniel Jensen combined for the same amount of

points as Marei and O’Brien (33), but the two could not contain the glass, where the MSU pair out-rebounded them 17-6 with Marei contributing nine and O’Brien adding eight.

As a team, MSU shot 72 percent from the field in the second half, denying every Vikings' rally in the final minute as the teams swapped free throw attempts. MSU connected 12 of 18 from the charity stripe, putting away the Vikings to improve their record to 15-3, 9-2 in conference play.

The game plan for MSU was simple: let guard Zach Monaghan drive to the hoop, where he found a quick bucket or a dish to Marei or O’Brien. Monaghan finished with 12 points and 11 assists, his fourth straight game with double-digit assists.

MSU trailed 21-12 nine minutes into the game before embarking on a 19-4 run that spanned over five minutes to gain the lead at 31-25.

MSU led 41-35 at the break and came hot out of the locker room, as Marei dropped eight points in the first 5:50 of the second half. Augustana made it interesting late, getting as close five with under five minutes to play, but the stifling MSU defense closed off the late-scoring barrage.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend NBA playoff preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Eastern Conference playoff preview Can Malik Zaire Win the QB Job At Notre Dame? Boise State's Past Points To A Promising Future NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Seattle Seahawks NBA playoff previews: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers Mike Tyson throws out first pitch at PNC Park Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Philadelphia Eagles Boomer: Chris Johnson signing will work for Jets NHL playoff preview: Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - New England Patriots NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Washington Redskins NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - New Orleans Saints NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Dallas Cowboys NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets