Junior transfer student Ryan Bagley goes up for two. Photo Credit: Kelsey Whaley
The St. Cloud State Men’s Basketball Team had a rough start to their season in 2021. They lost their first game to Upper Iowa by over twenty points and lost in an overtime heartbreaker the next night. They were able to edge out the University of Mary the weekend after, but lost it the second night. Coming into the weekend, the Huskies were 1-3 and were looking for their first sweep of the season at the home opener in Halenbeck Hall.
Saturday’s Game Recap
The Huskies took to the court at 2 p.m. on Saturday and immediately showed a tenacity that wasn’t present in the games before. Shooting was much more consistent and plays looked much more connected and meaningful. The Minot State Beavers do put up a great fight though and weren’t going to give SCSU an easy win. The Huskies did decent in the first half, making 88% of free throws and shooting around 40% from the field. The thing that kills SCSU most in the first half is the lack of 3-pointers, making a mere 1 of 12 in twenty minutes. Ouch. Minot, on the other hand, was shooting around 51% from the field, was 2-4 on free throws, and shot 4-9 of their three’s. Despite the Beaver’s slight edge in the first half, they only lead by one point, 50-49.
Coming back after the break, the game was still anyone’s game and was as close as ever. Basket followed by basket made this a nail-biter of a game. The lead changed thirteen times over the span of the game, but that makes it some good basketball to watch. Even into the final minutes of the game, it was tied 78-78. This was when a miraculous play happened. The Huskies have the ball with only 29 seconds left on the clock. Caleb Donaldson makes a jumper and misses, but Ryan Bagley, a junior transfer player out of Idaho, snatches the rebound and puts in a jumper of his own with only three seconds left to win the game for SCSU, 80-78.
Taking a look at overall statistics of the game, Anthony Roberts and Illya Tyrtyshnik both had standout games with 23 points a piece. Caleb Donaldson had 18 points of his own and tied for the team high of seven rebounds (Tyrtyshnik had seven as well). Ryan Bagley, with the game winning bucket, came in with six points, three steals, and three assists. For Minot – Kody Dwyer lead in scoring with 20 points, Max Cody had 18 along with eight assists, and Melvin Newbern lead in rebounds with 10.
Sunday’s Game Recap
After a dominant performance on Saturday, the Huskies took to the court again in Halenbeck Hall on Sunday again at 2 p.m. to try and achieve their first sweep of the season.
The first half of Sunday’s game was a bit different this time. The Beaver’s still played well, but the Huskies never lost their lead throughout the whole game. The Huskies were shooting much better from beyond the arch, 45% in the first half, and were shooting ten percent higher than the Beavers from the field. Minot just wasn’t able to figure out SCSU’s game, and the first twenty minutes ended with the Huskies in a comfortable lead of 40-33.
The second half of the game was almost identical to to the first, with the Huskies having a nice lead on the Beavers the whole time. Minot’s shooting from the field increased considerably to 51%, but SCSU responded by shooting 61% for themselves. There was no double-guessing who would win this game, and SCSU achieved their first sweep of the season against Minot winning 90-71.
The most surprising part of the game had to be the standout performance from junior transfer Ryan Bagley, who scored the game winning basket the night before. Bagley, who hasn’t necessarily ‘stood out’ much yet this year, had an electric performance with a team high of 21 points and four steals. He could easily become one of the most dangerous players on the team if he keeps this streak up. Caleb Donaldson had 16 points, and freshman Matthew Willert also grabbed 16 points on the night. Ethan Schuemer also played a good game, along with Josh Tomasi and Anthony Roberts (10 rebounds!). For Minot – Jaxon Gunville had the lead with 17 points, and Max Kody also had 12.
After the weekend’s games, SCSU improves to 3-3 overall on the season and will be back in action this weekend against Northern State. The games will be at home at Halenbeck Hall once again, with tipoff at 6 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday. With a shortened season, the Huskies need as many wins as they can get if they want to make the NSIC playoffs in late February.
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.