Basketball Gameday: St. John’s at Concordia

MIAC men’s basketball

St. John’s (3-4 MIAC, 5-7 overall)

at Concordia (2-6 MIAC, 6-7 overall)

Game time: 7:30 p.m., Memorial Auditorium, Moorhead.

Broadcast: WBHR-AM 660.

About the Johnnies: To quote Willie Nelson (or Canned Heat, whichever you prefer), St. John’s is on the road again as the Johnnies play their third-straight road game in five days. They have dropped the first two, falling 94-89 at St. Olaf Saturday and 75-71 at Augsburg on Monday night.

And the team received more bad news on the injury front when 6-foot-7 sophomore backup post Trevor O’Brien was lost for the season after breaking his wrist in practice Sunday. Meanwhile, sophomore wing Mitchell Kuck, who broke his foot in November, continues his rehab, but has not yet been cleared to play.

“It’s been a tough year, but we continue to have other people picking up the slack,” St. John’s coach Jim Smith said. “We’re playing pretty good basketball lately. We’ve been so close the past couple of games. There have just been a couple of bounces that didn’t go our way.”

Starting lineup

PG – Kevin McKenzie (5-8, 155, Sr., De Pere, Wis.) 5.8 ppg 2.6 rpg

W – Jack Wittenborg (6-1, 175, Sr., Bloomington Jefferson H.S.) 6.5 ppg 2.8 rpg

W – Patrick Butcher (6-0, 180, Sr., Louisville, Kent.) 11.6 ppg 2.4 rpg

P – Nick Meyer (6-1, 190, Sr., Benilde-St. Margaret’s H.S.) 6.5 ppg 2.4 rpg

P – Blake Maslonkowski (6-5, 225, Jr., St. Cloud Apollo H.S.) 9.5 ppg 6.2 rpg

About the Cobbers: Concordia has also lost two straight — falling to St. Olaf 71-61 and Carleton 54-53 in back-to-back games in Northfield on Jan. 7 and 8. Against the Knights, the Cobbers failed to score in the final 4:08.

Sophomore Jordan Bolger leads the way for head coach Rich Glas and his team. He is averaging 12.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

“I expect it will be another dogfight just like we had (against Augsburg),” said senior wing Patrick Butcher, who had 15 points to tie for the team lead in the Johnnies’ loss to the Auggies. “We’re going to have to come out ready to play.”

Starting lineup

G – Ryan Rude (6-1, 175, Jr., Bemidji H.S.) 4.4 ppg 3.4 rpg

G – Tom Fraase (6-3, 190, So., Bismarck, N.D.) 9.5 ppg 3.2 rpg

G – Brandon Giese (6-1, 170, Jr., Zimmerman H.S.) 11.5 ppg 2.8 rpg

F – Brady Syversen (6-6, 240, So., Fargo, N.D.) 10.6 ppg 5.1 rpg

F – Jordan Bolger (6-6, 200, So., Eastview H.S.) 12.8 ppg 6.9 rpg

 
Frank Rajkowski

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