WATCH: Dragons men can't keep pace with St. Cloud State in home loss

Minnesota State Moorhead senior Addison Park (41) scored a team-high 26 points against St. Cloud State on Saturday at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. Avery Johnson / Dragons Athletics
Minnesota State Moorhead senior Addison Park (41) scored a team-high 26 points against St. Cloud State on Saturday at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. Avery Johnson / Dragons AthleticsAvery Johnson / Dragons Athletics

MOORHEAD — The statistics looked favorable for Minnesota State Moorhead on Friday night, shooting 54 percent from the floor with five turnovers. The Dragons, however, couldn't keep up with St. Cloud State.

The Huskies shot 63 percent from the field in the second half to fuel a 94-88 victory in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men's basketball at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse before 1,301 fans.

St. Cloud State (18-7, 13-6 NSIC) scored 53 points in the second half to push its lead to as many 17 points after halftime. The Dragons (18-9, 12-7) had their three-game winning streak snapped as the Huskies took over sole possession of second place in the North Division with three games to play in the regular season.

"We just ran into a buzz saw. They just played outstanding and we couldn't sustain and match it," said Dragons head coach Chad Walthall, whose team also lost at SCSU earlier this season. "The two games we've played, I've been thoroughly impressed with their talent, their skill and how hard they played. They were really good against us tonight."

SCSU shot 61 percent (37 of 61) from the floor for the game. The Huskies had a 41-39 lead at halftime, despite committing nine turnovers in the first 20 minutes. SCSU only had one turnover in the second half.

"We're really clicking offensively," said Huskies head coach Matt Reimer. "We felt this one was huge for seeding in the conference tournament. ... A big win on the road like this really helps."

The Dragons sliced the SCSU lead to 57-54 after freshman guard Bryce Irsfeld sank a 3-pointer with 15 minutes, 1 second to play in the second half. The Huskies countered with a 16-2 scoring burst that proved to be the knockout blow. Gage Davis and Jace Kitchen scored six points each during that key stretch.

Kitchen capped the rally with back-to-back 3-pointers. His second 3-point make gave SCSU a 73-56 lead with 10:32 remaining. A senior guard, Davis finished with a game-high 28 points, adding 10 rebounds and five assists. Senior guard Brindley Theisen added 25 points, including 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range.

"They shot the heck out of it," said Dragons senior Addison Park, who scored a team-high 26 points. "They were just having fun out there and we saw it and it was making us mad, but they were just having fun and rolling. It's hard to stop them when they're rolling."

The Dragons rallied late, but the final margin was as close as MSUM got to the Huskies over the game's final 14 minutes.

MSUM hosts Minnesota-Duluth at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The Bulldogs (14-9, 11-8) are one game behind the Dragons in the North Division standings.

"We've got to play better," Park said.



SCSU (18-7, 13-6 NSIC): Theisen 8-11 3-3 25, Heede-Andersen 1-3 2-2 5, Davis 13-21 2-3 28, Smith 7-11 2-2 16, Onwuka 1-3 0-2 3, Marshall 2-2 0-1 4, Kitchen 5-10 0-0 13. Totals 37-61 9-13 94.

MSUM (18-9, 12-7): Beeninga 2-7 0-0 5, Coad 7-14 4-4 18, Sem 5-5 0-0 12, Baumgartner 4-11 0-0 9, Bergh 3-4 0-0 6, Irsfeld 3-5 2-2 10, Hanson 1-3 0-0 2, Park 12-19 7-8 88. Totals 37-68 7-8 88.

Half: SCSU 41, MSUM 39. 3-point goals: SCSU 11-22 (Theisen 6-8, Heede-Andersen 1-2, Davis 0-3, Smith 0-2, Onwuka 1-1, Kitchen 3-6), MSUM 7-15 (Beeninga 1-1, Coad 0-1, Sem 2-2, Baumgartner 1-3, Irsfeld 2-3, Hanson 0-1, Park 1-4). Total fouls: SCSU 14, MSUM 11. Rebounds: SCSU 32 (Davis 10), MSUM 27 (Coad 8). Assists: SCSU 19 (three players with 5), MSUM 11 (Coad 4, Baumgartner 4). Turnovers: SCSU 10 (Davis 3), MSUM 5 (Baumgartner 2). A-1,301.