Minnesota State-Moorhead moves on
VanHavermaet, Chapman lift Dragons into second round
GOLDEN, Colo. -- Minnesota State-Moorhead ended Southwest Minnesota State's season with an 82-66 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Hot hands from Andrew VanHavermaet and Charlie Chapman proved to be the difference maker as the Dragons who advance to the second round.
The rematch of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Championship game started just as explosive as everyone expected, with Alex Novak slamming down two dunks for four of the Dragons first six points.
After jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead, the Dragons saw the game of runs happening all over again. The Mustangs would go on a 9-0 run to take the 9-6 lead with just over 14 minutes remaining in the first half.
VanHavermaet scored 17 first-half points off 5-of-8 shooting from behind the arc to propel the Dragon offense to a 36-25 lead heading into halftime.
At half, Novak had six points and four boards in 18 minutes, Chapman had four of each in 13 minutes and DJ Hamilton posted four points and two rebounds in 17 minutes of play.
The Mustangs were led in the first half by Jordan Miller with seven points and five rebounds in 14 minutes.
Coming out strong in the second half, the Mustangs chip away at the Dragons lead. After a Casey Sussenguth post move, the lead would be cut to just five at the 17:43 mark.
Chapman would be the hot hand in the second half for the Dragons, scoring eleven consecutive points to give his team their largest lead of the game 51-37 with just under 15 minutes to go.
And the Dragons lead would continue to grow with Jake Driscoll, Jordan Riewer, and Novak adding points to take a 20 point lead with 13:40 left in the contest.
William Giddings would add a layup at 9:54 to bring the Mustangs within 13 points, but a Chapman three, a Novak post and Hamilton free throws move keep the difference at 18 at the eight-minute mark 70-52.
The Dragons wouldn't turn back from that point as Chapman added a 3-pointer and a free throw to give MSUM a 22-point lead with under six minutes in the game.
The Mustangs would cut their deficit to 15, but finishing free throws down the stretch clinched the 82-66 victory against SMSU.
Chapman posted 20 points in the second half, totaling 24 for the game while adding 10 rebounds for his first double-double of his career. Novak also posted a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. VanHavermaet finished with 19 points, and Hamilton added 12 points.