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Eric Peterson, Published November 22 2013

Dragons men cruise to victory against Cobbers

MOORHEAD – A few minutes after he checked into the game Friday night, Malik Wood made an impact with his active hands.

The Minnesota State Moorhead junior point guard had two quick steals, with the second one leading to an easy layup in transition near the midway point of the first half. Wood’s overall floor game helped the Dragons cruise to a 102-55 victory against Concordia in nonconference men’s basketball at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

“He’s a good player, and you could tell right away that his quickness can create some issues for other teams,” Dragons head coach Chad Walthall said. “Most nights it will be defensively.”

The 5-foot-9 Wood finished with 12 points, three assists and three steals in 19 minutes. Wood, who transferred from Bismarck State College, was playing in his first game with the Dragons. He missed the team’s first two games with an ankle injury.

“I love defense, and coach Walthall loves defense,” Wood said. “I try to start out playing very aggressive defense.”

MSUM (3-0) remained unbeaten and handed the Cobbers (1-1) their first loss this season. The Dragons shot 60 percent in the first half to build a 24-point halftime lead. MSUM finished shooting 59 percent (35 of 59). The Dragons reached 100 points for the first time since 2004.

“We had to be hot,” Cobbers head coach Rich Glas said. “We had to be the team shooting 60 percent, but it was the opposite, and it got out of hand. … We weren’t as sharp as we needed to be, and a lot of that had to do with them.”

The Dragons never trailed, finishing the first half with a strong run. MSUM scored 17 of the final 20 points in the opening half. Wood scored four points during that stretch, going 4-for-4 from the foul line. Wood sank two free throws with 13 seconds to play until halftime to give the Dragons a 49-25 lead. MSUM junior forward Urbane Bingham, a junior college transfer, had nine points in the first half off the bench. The Dragons got 26 points from their starters and 23 points from their reserves in the opening 20 minutes.

“I think we have real good chemistry,” Wood said. “We have a deep team. It’s the best team I’ve been on. We’ve got guys that we can rotate in and don’t lose a step.”

The Cobbers have a young team with 18 of the 22 players on their roster being either freshmen or sophomores. Concordia lost 89 percent of the scoring of last year’s team, which finished second in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“I think we got a little flustered,” Glas said. “They’ve got all the ingredients. … We couldn’t handle all that really well.”

The Dragons had 10 players who logged at least 17 minutes against the Cobbers.

“We have a long way to go,” Walthall said. “We’re trying to still figure who we are and what we are.”

CONCORDIA (1-1): Rude 0-2 0-0 0, Fraase 2-7 2-2 7, Giese 2-7 0-0 6, Syverson 2-7 1-2 5, Bolger 7-10 2-4 16, Zimmerman 1-6 1-2 3, Ellingson 1-2 0-0 2, Abbas 0-0 2-2 2, Bergeson 1-5 0-0 2, Nelson 1-4 0-0 2, Hawkins 4-8 0-0 8, Deutsch 0-4 0-1 0, Cassady 0-1 0-0 0, Kaczor 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 21-63 10-15 55.

MSUM (3-0): Riewer 3-8 0-0 7, 3-5 0-0 7, Nelson 3-5 0-1 7, Vaughan 5-5 0-0 11, Figini 4-6 8-8 16, Songolo 3-4 1-3 7, Clark 4-7 0-0 8, Wood 3-5 5-6 12, Lien 1-4 4-4 6, Reinke 1-2 0-0 3, Bingham 3-6 3-4 11, Filipek 1-1 0-0 2, Sevlie 1-1 3-3 5. Totals 35-59 24-29 102.

Half: MSUM 49, CC 25. 3-point goals: CC 3-20 (Rude 0-1, Fraase 1-1, Giese 2-6, Syverson 0-1, Zimmerman 0-2, Bergeson 0-3, Nelson 0-1, Hawkins 0-3, Deutsch 0-2), MSUM 8-17 (Riewer 1-3, Williams 1-1, Nelson 1-1, Vaughan 1-1, Songolo 0-1, Wood 1-3, Lien 0-2, Reinke 1-2, Bingham 2-3). Total fouls: CC 21, MSUM 16. Fouled out: Syverson. Rebounds: CC 30 (Hawkins 5), MSUM 41 (Nelson 8). Assists: CC 10 (Giese 3), MSUM 21 (Clark 4). Steals: CC 4 (four players with 1), MSUM 11 (Riewer 3, Wood 3). Turnovers: CC 13 (Rude 3), MSUM 8 (three players with 2).


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com