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Doss leads Dragons men to conference win

MOORHEAD-Heading into the New Year, the Minnesota State Moorhead men's basketball team is still trying to hone an identity.The Dragons took another step in that direction Saturday, Dec. 31, at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. Senior guard Jon Doss scored ...

Jon Doss of Minnesota State University Moorhead flies past Sam Siganos of Concordia St.Paul during their men’s basketball game Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Moorhead.Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Jon Doss of Minnesota State University Moorhead flies past Sam Siganos of Concordia St.Paul during their men’s basketball game Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Moorhead.Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

MOORHEAD-Heading into the New Year, the Minnesota State Moorhead men's basketball team is still trying to hone an identity.

The Dragons took another step in that direction Saturday, Dec. 31, at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. Senior guard Jon Doss scored 19 points to help lead MSUM to a 74-60 victory against Concordia-St. Paul in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men's basketball before 675 fans.

"We're far from a finished product," Dragons head coach Chad Walthall said. "I think when you look at the last couple years, we kind of knew who we were even before Christmas. I think we're still finding our way."

The Dragons (11-3, 6-2 NSIC) had lost their previous two conference games before Saturday's victory. Doss shot 55 percent (6 of 11) from the floor and 56 percent (5 of 9) from 3-point range. He scored 12 of his game-high total in the first half to help MSUM build a 32-29 halftime lead.

"I was looking to shoot more," said Doss, who is from Chicago. "My coach gave me confidence. ... I've been kind of hesitant, but this game I was going to let it fly and good things happened."

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The Dragons started to pull away at the start of the second half. They scored eight of the first 10 points after halftime. Doss capped that surge with a 3-point play that gave MSUM a 40-31 lead with 17 minutes, 30 seconds to play in the second half.

Minutes later, the Dragons went on another 8-2 run. Freshman forward Matt Anderson scored four points during that stretch. The 6-foot-7 Anderson capped the rally with two free throws that gave MSUM a 56-42 with 10:28 remaining.

"We got some great looks offensively early in the second half," Walthall said.

The Dragons had four players finish in the double digits scoring. Junior point guard Tanner Kretchman scored 17 points and added five assists. Senior forward Ayob Ayob and sophomore Addison Park scored 10 points each. Ayob grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

"I really like the way that we shared the ball tonight," Doss said. "We really had great ball movement and on the defensive end we also helped each other out."

The Dragons rebounded from a 74-65 home loss against Minnesota State-Mankato on Friday night. MSUM shot 34 percent from the field against the Mavericks.

"It was good to see our guys respond," Walthall said. "We're finding ourselves a little bit as we go along."

CSP (4-10, 1-6 NSIC): Brown 5-8 6-9 16, Powell 3-6 0-0 6, Siganos 3-6 0-0 6, Newsome 2-4 0-1 4, Matthews 4-8 0-0 9, McRoy 1-4 0-0 3, Ambriz 1-3 2-2 5, Brooks 0-1 0-0 0, Keefe 5-11 0-0 11. Totals 24-51 8-12 60.

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MSUM (11-3, 6-2): Ayob 3-10 4-6 10, Nelson 1-1 0-0 2, Kretchman 6-12 2-2 17, Doss 6-11 2-3 19, Lien 1-3 2-2 4, Beeninga 1-2 0-0 2, Anderson 3-4 2-2 8, Bussman 0-2 2-2 2, Park 5-10 0-1 10. Totals 26-55 14-18 74.

Half: MSUM 32, CSP 29. 3-point goals: CSP 4-13 (Newsome 0-1, Matthews 1-2, McRoy 1-1, Ambriz 1-3, Brooks 0-1, Keefe 1-5), MSUM 8-25 (Ayob 0-5, Kretchman 3-8, Doss 5-9, Lien 0-1, Beeninga 0-1, Anderson 0-1). Total fouls: CSP 19, MSUM 14. Rebounds: CSP 27 (Matthews 6), MSUM 33 (Ayob 10). Assists: CSP 7 (Ambriz 3), MSUM 15 (Kretchman 5). Steals: CSP 5 (Powell 3), MSUM 4 (Lien 2). Turnovers: CSP 13, MSUM 9. A-675.

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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