Dragons' rally falls short in OT loss against Southern Nazarene in 1st round of D-II tournament

Minnesota State Moorhead rallied from a 16-point deficit, but couldn't complete its comeback in the first round of the NCAA Division II Central Region men's basketball tournament.

Saturday vs SNU-9.jpg
Minnesota State Moorhead forward Dane Zimmer goes up for a dunk against Southern Nazarene on Saturday, March 11, 2023, in the first round of the NCAA Division II Central Region men's basketball tournament in Maryville, Mo.
Avery Nelson / Dragons Athletics

MARYVILLE, Mo. — Minnesota State Moorhead rallied from a double-digit deficit to force overtime, but couldn't complete the comeback Saturday at Bearcat Arena.

Southern Nazarene senior Jalen Lynn sank a 3-pointer early in overtime to help the Crimson Storm hold off the Dragons for a 67-64 victory in the first round of the NCAA Division II Central Region men's basketball tournament.

“Our guys went out as fighters that whole second half," said Dragons head coach Tim Bergstraser. "They were fighting no matter how tired they were.”

MSUM (25-7) had its five-game winning streak snapped. The Dragons won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament championship before their season ended at the Central Region.

“You win 25 games, that's pretty special in my opinion," Bergstraser said.


The Dragons trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half and 15 points early in the second half before a late rally. MSUM tied the game at 62-62 on Lorenzo McGhee's short jumper with 6 seconds to play in the second half. That forced an extra five minutes.

“He’s always a guy we’re going to trust to make a big play at the end for us," Bergstraser said. “We’re going to miss him on top of all of the seniors. He’s a special player.”

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Minnesota State Moorhead guard Lorenzo McGhee elevates for a shot against Southern Nazarene on Saturday, March 11, 2023, in the first round of the NCAA Division II Central Region men's basketball tournament in Maryville, Mo.
Avery Nelson / Dragons Athletics

Lynn hit his 3-pointer for a 65-62 lead with 4 minutes, 10 seconds to play in overtime. The Crimson Storm were able to protect that lead throughout the extra session.

Dragons senior Gavin Baumgartner had a contested catch-and-shoot 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer, but the potential game-tying shot was just off target.

“This team is a family and you can see that they really played hard for each other," Bergstraser said.

Junior forward Dane Zimmer paced the Dragons with 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Jacob Beeninga added 13 points. McGhee finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

The Crimson Storm threatened to blow out the Dragons early.

Southern Nazarene shot 64% (18 of 28) from the floor and 80% (8 of 10) from 3-point range in the opening half to build a 14-point halftime lead.


Tyler McGhie had a flawless first half for the Crimson Storm, scoring 16 points on 7-for-7 shooting from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. McGhie finished with a game-high 23 points.

“They were hitting some tough shots, which I thought were pretty well contested, and then after those we started letting guys get loose for open 3s," Bergstraser said. “They were hitting tough shots in general.”

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McGhie scored seven consecutive points late in the first half, capping that surge with a basket that gave SNU a 44-28 lead with 13 seconds until halftime. The Crimson Storm took a 44-30 lead into the intermission.

SNU had a 13-2 run that pushed its lead to 12 points less than nine minutes into the game. Freshman guard Javon Jackson capped that scoring spree with a 3-pointer for a 23-11 lead with 11:42 to play in the opening half. Jackson finished with 18 points.

Zimmer and McGhee paced the Dragons in the first half with eight points each. MSUM shot 55% (12 of 22) from the floor in the opening half, but that wasn't enough to keep pace with the Crimson Storm.

The Dragons, however, outscored SNU 32-18 in the second half to force overtime.

“We just needed to weather the storm and keep chipping away," Bergstraser said.

SNU (26-4): Lynn 4-7 0-1 11, Wilson II 1-3 0-0 2, McGhie 9-17 2-2 23, Davis 4-7 0-1 8, Jackson 6-14 2-2 18, Iyaye 2-10 0-0 5, Bouwer 0-0 0-0 0, Mowat 0-0 0-0 0, Dixon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-58 4-6 67.


MSUM (25-7): Stanley-Williams 1-9 4-6 7, McGhee 6-14 0-0 12, Baumgartner 4-10 1-1 9, Zimmer 6-8 2-4 15, Beeninga 5-13 0-0 13, Kinsey 0-1 0-0 0, Kaiser 3-7 1-1 8. Totals 25-62 8-12 64.

Half: SNU 44, MSUM 30. 3-point goals: SNU 11-19 (Lynn 3-5, McGhie 3-6, Jackson 4-5, Iyaye 1-3), MSUM 6-29 (Stanley-Williams 1-7, McGhee 0-5, Baumgartner 0-3, Zimmer 1-2, Beeninga 3-9, Kinsey 0-1, Kaiser 1-2).
Total fouls: SNU 17, MSUM 12. Fouled out: Jackson. Rebounds: SNU 36 (Davis 10), MSUM 36 (Zimmer 15). Assists: SNU 11 (Jackson 5), MSUM 13 (Baumgartner 5). Turnovers: SNU 10, MSUM 7.

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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