Beavers basketball teams make their way to Minnesota | News, Sports, Jobs

As the season draws to a close, the impact of each weekend grows bigger for the Minot State men’s and women’s basketball teams, who are traveling to Minnesota for two NSIC games.

The Beavers play Concordia, St. Paul, Friday night and Minnesota State, Mankato Saturday, and both Minot State teams are trying to cement their place in the playoff race.

Minot State women (9-11 overall, 5-9 NSIC) have won 3 of their last 4 in-game promotions in the playoffs with 8 games remaining, making this weekend a great opportunity to continue moving up.

It won’t be easy against the Golden Bears (8-10, 5-9) or the Mavericks (15-3, 11-3) as Concordia, St. Paul, hunt for a home playoff date in the NSIC South Division Mavericks share leadership of NSIC South Division and seek division title.

Friday’s game in Concordia, St. Paul appears to be a test of defensive will, as the Golden Bears are 12th on the NSIC averaging 62.2 points per game, while Minot State average 60.3 ppg finished 14th. The team that can overcome each other’s defenses seems to have the advantage.

In the head-to-head, the Golden Bears are 7-3 against the Beavers, but Minot State won the teams last meeting last January 81-70 at the MSU Dome.

Concordia is led by 6-foot junior guard Ally Gietzel, who averages 12.2 ppg.

Saturday will offer a very different duel for the Beavers as the Mavericks lead the NSIC with 84.1 ppg and 41.6 rebounds per game.

Similar to Friday, the Mavericks have an 8-2 head-to-head lead in team series, but this past January, the Beavers posted an 81-71 home win over MSU, Mankato.

The Mavericks’ high-scoring offense is led by 5-5 junior guard Joey Batt, who is fourth in the NSIC averaging 17.0 ppg.

For the Beavers, senior guard Kate Head continues to lead as she ranks seventh in the NSIC averaging 16.0 ppg and also leads Minot State with 67 assists.

The Minot State men have been strong lately, winning 3 of their last 4 away from the MSU Dome, a trend they hope will continue against a Concordia, St. Paul team who are right outside the playoff Image sits will continue now, and an MSU, Mankato foe, who, like the Beavers, is chasing a home playoff date.

Minot State (9-9, 6-8) leads the all-time streak 7-2 against the Golden Bears (4-16, 2-12), including a 98-54 win last year at the MSU Dome. The Beavers are looking to continue that trend against a Concordia team that allows opponents a league-high 47.6 shot percentage and has the fewest rebounds in NSIC (31.0 rpg).

One weapon the Golden Bears do have, however, is 6-0 junior guard Antwan Kimmons, who is second in NSIC at 21.1 ppg, and whom the Beavers will have to contend with.

On Saturday in Mankato (13-7, 7-7), the Beavers face a Mavericks team that has an 8-2 lead in the series but who beat Minot State 97-69 at the MSU Dome last January.

Like MSU, the Mankato women, the Maverick men lead the NSIC averaging 80.2 ppg and a 39.1 rpg rebound, keys to their success that Minot State will struggle with.

Another key is 6-3 junior guard Malik Willingham, who is ninth in NSIC at 18.1 ppg.

Balance is key for the Beavers, as junior guard Khari Broadway leads a trio of Minot State players at double-digit 13.4 ppg, while senior guard Cam’ron Dunfee averages 12.3 ppg and sophomore guard Jaxon Gunville averages 11.1 ppg achieved.

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