Mankato holds off Dragon men in closing minutes to win NSIC quarterfinal

MANKATO, Minn.-Minnesota State-Mankato broke a tie game with seven minutes remaining and held on down the stretch to defeat Minnesota State-Moorhead 82-79 in the quarterfinals of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men's basketball tourna...

MANKATO, Minn.-Minnesota State-Mankato broke a tie game with seven minutes remaining and held on down the stretch to defeat Minnesota State-Moorhead 82-79 in the quarterfinals of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men's basketball tournament. The loss ended MSUM's season at 7-22.

The Dragons had chances in the closing minutes but couldn't break through. They went over three minutes at one stretch getting just two free throws from Johnny Beeninga. Still, Tanner Kretchman's layup with 3:02 left pulled MSUM to within 70-69.

The Mavericks stretched that lead to five before Kretchman's 3-pointer made it a 74-72 game with 28 seconds remaining. Mankato then hit six straight free throws to keep the Dragons at a safe distance.

Kretchman led the Dragons with 22 points while Beeninga had 19. Cameron Kirksey had 20 points for the Mavericks, who improved to 21-8 and move on to the semifinals.

MSUM (7-22 overall): Kretchman 8-20 2-3 22, Beeninga 7-15 2-3 19, Coad 5-13 4-7 15, Park 7-12 0-0 14, Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 4-6 0-0 9, Sevlie 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 31-68 8-13 79.

MSM: (21-8 overall): Kirksey 7-12 4-6 20, Krieger 7-13 0-0 16, Brown 3-8 5-6 11, Kendrix 3-9 4-4 11, Harper 2-2 0-0 5, Anderson 6-11 2-2 14, Asche 1-1 0-0 3, Kreuer 1-1 0-0 2, Nixon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 30-57 15-18 82.

Halftime: MSM 42,2 MSUM 40. 3-point goals: MSUM 9-29 (Kretchman 4-16, Beeninga 3-5, Coad 1-2, Park 0-3, Johnson 1-3), MSM 7-15 (Kirksey 2-4, Krieger 2-4, Brown 0-2, Kendrix 1-5, Harper 1-1, Asche 1-1). Total fouls: MSUM 13, MSM 14. Fouled out: Kirksey. Rebounds: MSUM 32 (Johnson 7), MSM 36 (Kendrix 11). Assists: MSUM 7 (Coad 3), MSM 12 (Brown 5). Turnovers: MSUM 8 (Kretchman 3), MSM 12 (Brown 4).