Another big comeback falls short for MW men, 83-71
The Minnesota West men's basketball team rallied impressively in the second half against St. Cloud Tech in Worthington, but didn't come away with the win.
WORTHINGTON -- For the second day in a row, the Minnesota West Community and Technical College men’s basketball team made an impressive comeback.
That’s good, but that’s also not so good. For the second day in a row Monday afternoon, they were defeated, 80-71.
St. Cloud Tech erupted to a 30-11 lead halfway through the first half and led 57-36 well into the second half at the Center for Health and Wellness in Worthington. In a road game on Sunday, West outscored Anoka-Ramsey 55-47 in the second half but were beaten 93-84.
“I know we’re a bit tired today. We played yesterday,” said West head coach Brian Stoebner. “It was the same kind of game we had yesterday. … We didn’t play right from the tip.”
But after trailing by 21 points in the second half, the Bluejays fought back to get within three points with 6:18 remaining. It was an impressive, spirited effort that fueled the comeback. But that’s as close as the Jays could get and they fell to 3-11 on the season.
The rally began after Tech scored nine unanswered points to lead 57-36. Six-one freshman Bluejay guard Jacob Dorian made six straight points, then freshman Brody Sohn, a Lake Park, Iowa, grad, drained a 3-point shot at the 11-minute mark. Dorian hit a 3-pointer at 9:04 to make it 61-51 -- finally getting the Bluejays within 10 points. Cortney Ligon meshed a 3-point shot of his own at 7:26, and Tyvorus Lawton hit a 3 at 6:18 from the corner. With 5:42 to play, a free throw by Steve Ndumbe pulled West to within 61-58.
But the comeback stalled. St. Cloud Tech upped its lead to 10 points again with three and a half minutes to go, and there was no celebration for the Bluejays.
What the game did show, however, was that the Jays are a capable team if they play two halves of basketball.
“We get reminded constantly on how good we can be,” Stoebner said. “We’re small right now. So we gotta fight for our lives defensively, and everybody’s gotta take care of business. But we gotta decide whether we’re going to play for 20 minutes or play for 40. And the guys know we’re pretty tough to guard when we play together.”
It didn’t help the Bluejays that they converted only 10 of 20 free throws to Tech’s 20 of 25. The Cyclones out-rebounded West 52-41.
Dorian finished with a game-high 21 points. Lawton had 14, Jabril Muktar had 11 and Ligon had 10. Muktar and Sam Paulson had seven and six rebounds, respectively.
Five players scored in double figures for St. Cloud Tech, led by Tierre Davis with 18 points. Semaj Threats scored 15. Reace Anders, London Williams and Manni Ukutegbe all had 12 points.
“We showed we’ve got some heart, and what we can do,” Stoebner declared after the game. “When we move the ball and trust each other, we’re as good as anybody. But can we do that for 40 minutes?”
St. Cloud Tech 44 80
Bluejays 27 71
ST. CLOUD TECH (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Threats 1-4-4-15, Anders 0-4-4-12, Williams 1-2-5-12, Ukutegbe 0-5-2-12, Asbury 2-0-3-9, Davis 4-3-0-18, 1-0-2-5. Totals 9-28-20-83.
BLUEJAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Lawton 1-4-3-14, Ligon 1-2-3-10, Muktar 3-1-0-11, Campbell 0-1-0-2, Paulson 0-2-1-5, Ndumbe 0-0-1-1, Bezoni 0-0-0-0, Sohn 1-2-0-7, Dorian 3-5-2-21. Totals 9-27-10-71,