Northern State stays on top of the NSIC with win at MSU-Mankato

Mankato, Minn. – If last night was not enough, the Northern State University men's basketball team continued to pump out career highs in their 88-80 victory over Minnesota State Saturday evening. The Wolves improved 17-5 overall and 13-3 in the league following the weekend sweep over the NSIC South.

Despite a few late comeback attempts by the Mavericks, the Wolves did not fall behind MSU in the entire 40 minutes of play. Minnesota State tied the game on two occasions early in the first period and Northern held their largest lead of ten points with 7:25 left in the second.

They combined for 46 points in the paint, 18 points off the bench, 17 points off offensive boards, and eight points off turnovers. Northern out-rebounded Minnesota State 42-33 in the win, and tallied five made 3-pointers, 13 assists, three steals, and one block.

Northern forced six Minnesota State turnovers in the game and held the Mavericks stagnant from the 3-point line in the second. MSU knocked down just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc in the second half. As a team, Northern shot 50.0 percent from the field and 70.8 percent from the foul line.

Mason Stark came alive for the Wolves with a career high 26 points, 18 of which came in the second half. The redshirt freshman hit 7-of-15 from the floor, 3-of-5 from the arc, and 9-of-10 from the foul line en route to his new career mark. He also added three rebounds and two assists in 33 minutes of action.

After a career high a night ago, Justin Decker dropped a team second best 18 points and matched his career high with a team leading nine rebounds. Decker added two assists and one steal for the Wolves, shooting 47.4 percent from the floor.

Parker Fox was third on the team and led the Wolves off the bench with 16 points and five rebounds. He hit 7-of-10 from the floor and tallied the team's lone block. Andrew Kallman was the final man in double figures with 11 points, hitting two of the team's five 3-pointers. He added two rebounds and one assist.

Gabe King and Bo Fries grabbed nine and six points respectively for NSU, as well as six rebounds apiece. King also fished out a team leading four assists, while Fries notched one assist and one steal. Cole Dahl tallied the final two team points in the win. Jordan Belka and Roko Dominovic may not have scored by combined for three rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

Northern returns to the confines of Wachs Arena next Friday and Saturday for one of the biggest weekends of the year; the annual I Hate Winter celebration. The Wolves will face off with Sioux Falls at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Southwest Minnesota State at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Friday's game will be broadcast on MidcoSN.