SCSU basketball weekend previews

NSIC women’s basketball

MSU-Moorhead (11-7 NSIC, 14-8 overall)

at St. Cloud State (11-7, 15-7)

Game time: 6 p.m., Halenbeck Hall.

Broadcast: WMIN-AM 1010.

About the Huskies: Head coach Lori Fish thinks her team will have to win a few games in the NSIC Tournament in two weeks to qualify for the region tournament. The first Central Region rankings of the season come out Tuesday. “We’re going to have to win two or three games to get consideration,” Fish said. “Our region is tough.”

About the Dragons: The Huskies beat the Dragons 79-56 back on Dec. 15, but Moorhead has improved since then. The Dragons upset Augustana and Wayne State last weekend. Megan Strese leads the Dragons with 15 points and 9.8 rebounds a game. Moorhead is tied with SCSU for the North Division lead.

Fish sees how much Moorhead has improved since the teams’ last meeting.

“They’ve learned to play together up there,” Fish said. “They have a lot of young players. They’ve come together and are playing extremely well. They’re the hottest team in the league. They’ve got such great size and we have to be ready to defend that. What’s difficult about them is that they can knock down the three if you choose to double the post. It’s almost like picking your poison. We’re going to have to have good ball pressure to slow them down.”

Fish said her team is already in “playoff mode” because they know how critical each game is for NSIC Tournament seedings.

“The conference tournament is going to be huge for us,” Fish said.

 

NSIC men’s basketball

MSU-Moorhead (10-8 NSIC, 16-8 overall)

at St. Cloud State (13-5, 17-5)

Game time: 8 p.m., Halenbeck Hall.

Broadcast: WMIN-AM 1010.

About the Huskies: SCSU will stick with a small starting lineup again this weekend with sophomore Kevin Levandoski starting with Damarius Cruz and Shaun Jensen in a three-guard lineup. Levandoski had 34 points combined last weekend. Theo Rothstein crossed the 1,000-point threshold two weeks ago and has 1,052 for his career. SCSU has a one-game lead in the North Division over Northern State, which comes to Halenbeck Saturday.

About the Dragons: The Huskies fell 78-74 to the Dragons back on Dec. 15 in Moorhead. Anthony Tucker had a season-high 32 points against the Huskies in that game. SCSU head coach Kevin Schlagel said Damarius Cruz will guard Tucker tonight.

Other notes: Tucker averages 19.4 points a game while post Alex Novak averages 13.1 points and 8.8 rebounds a game.

–SCSU point guard Shaun Jensen had a season-high 30 points against the Dragons in Moorhead.

–Northern State is 4-4 over its last eight games and was swept at home by Augustana and Wayne State last weekend. Collin Pryor averages 16.3 points a game to lead the Wolves. SCSU has won five straight over Northern. The Huskies won 73-54 in Aberdeen. Levandoski had 19 points in that win.

–The first Central Region rankings of the season don’t come out until Tuesday.

–SCSU’s Kenquane Brown has returned to practice after missing almost two months with a knee injury. He is questionable for this weekend.

–SCSU senior forward Scott Hawkins (ankle) hasn’t been able to practice this week and is doubtful for this weekend.

 

 

 

Andy Rennecke

About Andy Rennecke

A sports writer for the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times newspaper who covers St. Cloud State athletics with a focus on football, women's basketball and men's basketball. I also cover the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League. Follow Andy Rennecke at https://twitter.com/AndyRennecke
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