Friday, December 17, 2010

Hill, Hodges Pace Mavericks Over Peacocks

Fayette, Iowa --- The 22nd-ranked Minnesota State men’s basketball team earned a 87-72 victory over Upper Iowa University Friday night behind a 25 points by senior guard Marcus Hill.
After Upper Iowa opened an early 4-2 advantage MSU used a 13-0 run to open a 15-4 advantage and never look back.  The run was sparked by seven points by Hill.

The Peacocks answered however with an 11-3 run of its own to cut the deficit to 18-15 with 12:38 remaining in the first half forcing the Mavericks to call a timeout.

The pace slowed a bit following the Upper Iowa run as the two teams combined for just seven points over the next five-plus minutes.

Both teams pushed the pass in the last seven minutes of the game as MSU used an 11-4 run to open a 36-25 lead with 3:43 remaining only to have Upper Iowa respond with a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to two.  Senior guard Joe Drapcho converted a fast-break layup with 12 seconds remaining in the half as the Mavericks opened a 39-34 advantage at the break.

Hill led all players in scoring in the first half with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting.  The Mavericks shot 54.8 percent in the first half while limiting the Peacocks to 40.6.

“This was a nice win for us tonight,” said head coach Matt Margenthaler who won his 199th game as the Maverick’s head coach.  “We have a lot of things to work on, but I was really pleased with the production our bench gave us this evening.”

Both teams traded baskets to open the second half as MSU opened a 59-53 lead with 12:53 remaining in the game.  Senior guard Cameron Hodges paced the Mavericks early in the second half scoring ten of MSU’s first 20 points to start the stanza.

The Mavericks would open a pair of ten point leads before Upper Iowa answered with a 7-0 run to cut the MSU advantage to 69-66 with 5:13 remaining.

MSU then embarked on an 11-0 run to open a 15 point advantage 1:31 remaining and never looked back.  The run was highlighted by a transition dunk by senior guard Jefferson Mason.

Hill finished the night with a game-high 25 points, marking his third straight game with 20-plus points.  Hodges added 16 points while redshirt freshman Connor O’Brien had 10 points.  Hill also led the Mavericks in assists passing out six helpers while Mason led MSU with six rebounds.  Mason also added 11 points for the Mavericks in the win.

Minnesota State finished the game shooting 58.2 percent from the floor while the Peacocks shot 47.5.  The Mavericks won the battle of the boards, 31-30.  The Mavericks, who were outrebounded 7-0 on the offensive end in the first half picked up eight offensive rebounds in the second half.

Minnesota State (8-1, 4-1 NSIC) travels to Winona State tomorrow evening for a 7 p.m., tilt against the Warriors.

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