MARSHALL, Minn. – Shaun Condon scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed a career-high six rebounds to lead Southwest Minnesota State to a 79-53 victory over Minnesota Crookston on Saturday night at the R/A Facility.
SMSU (14-8, 11-5 NSIC) used a 24-0 run in the first half to build a 40-16 lead and never looked back in earning its 17th straight victory over UMC (4-16, 1-15 NSIC) since 2004.
Condon finished the game connecting on 7 of 12 field goals and made both of SMSU's two 3-point field goals. Nick Smith also had a solid night pouring in 18 points and grabbing nine rebounds, while Vinard Birch (15) and Mitch Weg (10) also scored double figures for the Mustangs.
SMSU finished the night shooting 59 percent (34 of 58) from the field and made nine of 10 free throw attempts. SMSU held a 39-23 rebound advantage and limited UMC to just 30 percent (15 of 50) shooting from the field – the lowest by an SMSU opponent all season. SMSU outscored UMC 60-12 in points in the paint.
UMC started the game strong hitting three 3-pointers in the game's first five and a half minutes to take an 11-6 lead.
UMC maintained the lead at 14-10 at the 12:13 mark before SMSU started the game-changing run.
Birch hit a jumper, while Smith hit back-to-back field goals to give SMSU its first lead since the game's first two minutes at 16-14 with 10:27 remaining. Following a layup by UMC's Derrick Redd to tie the game with 9:56 left, SMSU started its 24-0 run over the next seven and a half minutes to build a 40-16 lead and put the game away. UMC went eight and a half minutes without a field goal during SMSU's run and made just one field goal in the final 9:56.
SMSU held a 22-9 rebound advantage in the first half and shot 59 percent from the field. UMC shot just 29 percent from the field, but did connect on five 3-pointers.
The teams played an even in the first eight minutes of the second half with SMSU holding a 60-36 lead, but the lead never dipped below 23 points for the remainder of the game.
Redd led the Golden Eagles with 20 points on 6 of 10 shooting with three 3-pointers.
Southwest Minnesota State will now head to the road next weekend, starting a stretch of four straight road games. SMSU will play at Minnesota State next Friday starting at 8 p.m. MSU holds a two-game lead over SMSU in the NSIC standings.