Williams' season-high 27 points leads Minnesota St.-Mankato to comeback win
MARSHALL, Minn. -- No. 21 Minnesota State-Mankato used a 24-12 run in the final 6:04 to turn a 71-60 deficit into a 85-84 victory against Southwest Minnesota State on Friday in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tilt.
In all, three Mavericks scored 20 or more points in the win as senior guard Jarvis Williams scored a game and season-high 27 points. Sophomore center Assem Marei added 23 while sophomore point guard Zach Monaghan scored 20. Marei's 23 was also a season-high.
"I'm proud with the way our guys battled back," head coach Matt Margenthaler said. "It'd be nice if we didn't put ourselves in those positions, but we fought through some adversity and had a lot of guys hit big shots down the stretch."
The Mustangs led for the first 12 minutes of the first half before the Mavericks tied it on a lay-up from sophomore center Assem Marei with 8:09 left in the first half.
From that point on, the first half featured seven ties and four lead changes as Minnesota State took a 41-38 lead into the break thanks to a 3-pointer by sophomore forward Zach Romashko from the right wing..
Marei joined Williams and Monaghan in scoring during the first 20 minutes as the trio each scored 10 points.
After Williams hit a jumper to open the second half, the Mustangs used a 21-5 run in a nine-minute span to open its biggest lead of the night at 61-48 with 9:53 remaining.
Minnesota State clawed its way back into the game, cutting the deficit to five at 81-76 with 1:32 remaining when Monaghan hti a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
On the ensusing Maverick possession, Monaghan hit two of three free throws and Marei made a lay-up to trim the deficit to one at 81-80. From that point on, MSU made 5-of-6 free throws to seal the win. SMSU's Jordan Miller scored 25 in the loss, including a three at the buzzer to make it a one-point game.
Williams finished the night shooting 7-of-15 from the floor and 13-of-14 from the free throw line. His 27 points is the most by a Maverick this season.
Monaghan hit on 6-of-9 of his shots from the floor, including 3-of-4 from downtown en route to his 20 points while Marei had 23 points and 11 rebounds. It marked Marei's second double-double in as many games.
The Mavericks finished the game shooting 44.8 percent from the floor and outrebounded SMSU 40-36.