Schuemer and Donaldson work things out on the court. Photo courtesy of Kylie Macziewski
The Huskies, coming off a clutch weekend to punch their postseason ticket, traveled to Sioux Falls for game one of the NSIC tournament.
This year, the tournament was only the top four teams from the North and South, and SCSU was able to claim the #4 slot after splitting the weekend with Duluth the previous weekend. The season has been up and down for the team, showing moments of both greatness and weakness, but it was time to step it up because now in the postseason – one loss would end your season.
The #4 Huskies would be taking on the #1 seed from the South the Wayne State Wildcats. The Wildcats are a tough team who have shown strength in the this strange pandemic season. It would be a tough game, but the Huskies have shown that they can compete against top teams.
Tip-off for the Huskies and Wildcats was set for 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Sioux Falls Pentagon.
One thing was immediately noticeable when the game started, Anthony Roberts’ head was not in the game. Throughout the whole game this would plague the team, with Roberts shooting only 1-9 from the field on 0-5 three’s. This statistic would really hurt the Huskies as Roberts averages 20 points per game. This game – he’d only score a measly 12 (10 of which were free throws).
Although Roberts wasn’t playing his best, freshman Josh Tomasi definitely was. Tomasi would smash his 11 points per game average, to put up a team high 21 points this game. The funny thing is that he was only shooting 40%, but still lead in points because he kept shooting the ball. Even though St. Cloud wasn’t very connected as a team in this game, Tomasi was obviously the shining star of the day.
Caleb Donaldson would play typically, putting up 17 points for the team. Ryan Bagley would put up the only double-double for the team with 10 a piece.
Wayne State truly capitalized on the Huskies mistakes in this game. The Wildcats had 12 fast break points and 16 points off turnovers which really hurt SCSU. They also claimed 20 bench points to the Huskies 2.
Jordan Janssen was the obvious leader of the game, tacking on 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Although the Huskies were off, the game was still VERY close and VERY back and forth. St. Cloud was so close to winning, losing by only three points at the final buzzer, 73-70. Just one more made three could’ve tied up the game.
The Huskies proved they can play with the best of teams, but this effort just barely fell short in a heartbreaker of a loss. This loss would knock the Huskies out of the NSIC tournament as Wayne State would advance.
The Huskies may not have had the finish they wanted with the season, but they still had an honorable year. The team is so young still, there’s only one senior! And that lone senior, Ilya Tyrtyshnik, didn’t even play in most games this year due to injury. This team will have plenty of time to mature and come back for an even better season next year. If Ilya decides to come back for another year (the NCAA is granting extra eligibility due to the pandemic) this roster would be exactly the same.
This team has multiple years left with most of these players, so you can almost guarantee that they’ll be back.
Overall, the 2021 season for SCSU would be 8-9, with a 6-6 conference record. Not bad for a season during a global pandemic.
The loss to Wayne State is a bit disappointing though, as the Wildcats would advance to the SemiFinals, but would have to forfeit due to COVID-19 protocols. MSU-Moorhead would win automatically because of this and would take on Northern State in the Championships. Northern State was able to clinch the NSIC Championship title, with no surprise to many.
Anthony Roberts lead the team this year in scoring with 311 points (20.7 ppg avg), with Donaldson in 2nd place with 254. Roberts also lead in season rebounds with an average of 7.9 per game.
Players to look for next year besides standout stars Roberts and Donaldson have to be Tomasi and Bagley. Josh Tomasi came in clutch plenty of times, including this last game. He is solid in scoring, rebounds, blocks, and assists. Bagley can be hot and cold with scoring, but he would lead the team in assists this season with 86.
This team may be done for the season, but you can guarantee that they’ll bring the heat again next year. The Huskies will be back and better than ever – that’s for sure.
Sydney is a Mass Communications major with a focus in Creative Media Production and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric Studies and will be graduating in Spring of 2021. Sydney is UTVS News Director and the music director at KVSC. She is also a nationally qualified speaker on the speech and debate team. In her free time she loves to play music, watch SCSU hockey games, and play dorky video games with her friends. Connect with her on social media @sydneyisawolf.