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Eric Peterson, Published January 23 2011

Men's basketball: Huskies net victory over Dragons

Too much Taylor Witt and a stagnant offense to start the second half proved too much for Minnesota State Moorhead to overcome Saturday at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

Witt poured in a game-high 25 points to spark

St. Cloud State to a 76-64 victory against the Dragons in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men’s basketball.

“It was just one of those nights and I think it was one of those nights because, I mean give credit to St. Cloud State,” Dragons head coach Chad Walthall said. “They really played with poise and maturity and just made very simple plays all game long.”

The Dragons (10-7, 7-6 NSIC) had their two-game losing streak snapped. MSUM scored the first basket of the game for its only lead.

“It’s a learning curve,” said Dragons junior DJ Hamilton, who had a team-high 20 points and added six assists. “We know what we got to do. We’ve got to play better defense, for one, and just execute on offense.”

A 6-foot-3 senior guard, Witt scored 16 of his points in the first half on 5-for-9 shooting from the floor. His hot start helped the Huskies to a 38-30 halftime lead. Witt has scored at least 22 points in five consecutive games.

“He’s a guy that we turn to all the time,” Huskies head coach Kevin Schlagel said. “We just jump on his back and let him take us in the direction that we want to go.”

The Huskies defense clamped down early in the second half to spoil any hopes of an MSUM comeback. The Dragons were held to eight points in the first eight minutes of the second half.

“They’re that championship team and they have that championship mindset where they’re going to do it every night consistently,” Walthall said, referring to the Huskies advancing to the NCAA Division II semifinals last season.

ST. CLOUD STATE (10-7, 9-4 NSIC): Putz 4-8 4-4 14, Witt 6-13 10-10 25, Ortmann 3-3 4-6 10, Bernstetter 2-8 2-2 6, Johnsrud 3-4 0-0 6, Jensen 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Phillips 2-3 2-3 6, Hawkins 1-3 0-0 2, Bucholz 3-5 1-2 7. Totals 24-48 23-27 76.

MSUM (10-7, 7-6): Chapman 3-7 0-0 7, Ja. Driscoll 1-3 0-0 3, Clark 4-10 1-7 9, Novak 1-5 2-3 4, Williamson 6-12 0-0 12, VanHavermaet 1-2 1-2 4, Thompson 2-2 0-0 5, Hamilton 9-17 0-0 20, Reed 0-0 0-0 0, Olson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-60 4-12 64.

Half: SCSU 38, MSUM 30.v3-point goals: SCSU 5-15 (Putz 2-4, Witt 3-5, Bernstetter 0-3, Hawkins 0-2, Bucholz 0-1), MSUM 6-15 (Chapman 1-3, Ja. Driscoll 1-3, VanHavermaet 1-2, Thompson 1-1, Hamilton 2-6). Total fouls: SCSU 10, MSUM 17.

Rebounds: SCSU 30 (Bucholz 8), MSUM 29 (Clark 8). Assists: SCSU 11 (Putz 3, Witt 3), MSUM 15 (Hamilton 6). Steals: SCSU 6 (Witt 2, Ortmann 2), MSUM 6 (Novak 2, Hamilton 2). Turnovers: SCSU 7 (Witt 3), MSUM 10 (Novak 4).


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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

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