MSUM Men’s Basketball set to host Microtel Classic Friday & Saturday

The Minnesota State University Moorhead men’s basketball team (0-2, 0-0 NSIC) will host the Microtel Classic this weekend at Nemzek Fieldhouse.

Northern Michigan:
Michigan Tech:

The Dragons will make their home debut this weekend when they host the Microtel Classic. MSUM will face Northern Michigan on Friday at 7 p.m., and Michigan Tech on Saturday at 4 p.m.

The Dragons opened the season at the Region Challenge in Lancaster, Texas, where they lost to Henderson State on Friday, 90-83, and to Southern Arkansas, 87-72, on Saturday afternoon. Against Henderson State, the Dragons were led by senior Tanner Kretchman, who scored 22 points. Junior Travaun Coad scored 14 points, while sophomore Matt Anderson scored 12 points.

Against Southern Arkansas, the Dragons were led again by Kretchman, who scored 19 points. Coad scored 15 points, while junior Addison Park scored 13 points. The Dragons had a 41-38 lead going into halftime after junior A.J. Nywesh scored with 34 seconds left in the half, but Southern Arkansas went on a 19-6 run early in the second half to reclaim the lead.

Northern Michigan University
The Wildcats are 2-0 early this season after defeating both Lewis and Wisconsin-Parkside last weekend. Their top scorer is Isaiah Johnson, who is averaging 17.0 points per game. Myles Howard and Johnon lead in rebounds with 11 each, while Will Carius has ten. Echols leads the Wildcats in assists with ten. They are led by head coach Bill Sall, who is in his fifth season as head coach of the Wildcats. The Wildcats lead the all-time series vs. the Dragons, 6-3. However, last time the team met, MSUM won, 104-68.

Michigan Tech University
The Huskies are 2-0 after defeating Wisconsin-Parkside and Lewis last weekend when they hosted the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge. Michigan Tech’s top scorer is Kyle Monroe, who is averaging 25.0 points per game. Freshman guard Isaac Appleby has nine assists, while Tanner Uren has eight.Monroe has 9.0 rebounds per game. Head coach Kevin Luke is in his 24th season as head coach. MSUM has faced Michigan Tech 58 times in prgram history and lead the all-time serires 34-24. The two teams met last year and the Dragons came out on top with a 90-82 win over the Huskies.

Who’s Back?
The Dragons return eight players from a season ago, including four of the top-seven scorers, including starter Tanner Kretchman. Kretchman averaged 16.7/ppg, sophomore forward Matt Anderson averaged 8/ppg, junior forward Addison Park averaged 7.7/ppg and sophomore guard Jonny Beeninga averaged 4.5/ppg.

The Dragons welcome seven newcomers to the squad this season. Junior guard Travaun Coad, junior forward Cody Cox, junior forward Jake Johnson, freshman guard Bryce Irsfeld, freshman guard Siman Sem, freshman guard Gavin Baumgartner and freshman center Jesse Bergh.

Walthall Readies for 8th Season
Head Coach Chad Walthall is entering his eighth season at the helm for MSUM. Walthall has amassed an impressive 165-57 record (.743) during his time as the head coach of the Dragons. Walthall is joined on the coaching staff by Justin Wieck (fourth season) and Jordan Riewer (first season).

Riewer Returns
Former Dragon standout Jordan Riewer has returned this season, except instead of taking the court he will be on the sidelines. The Staples, Minn. native is in his first season as a Dragon assistant coach afrer playing overseas for the Oettinger Rockets in Germany. While a player, he was named the 2014-15 MSUM Male Athlete of the Year, and helped the Dragons reach the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time in school history. He left MSUM with 1,382 points scored, and holds the school records with 470 assists and 226 three-pointers made.

Senior Leadership
Senior guard Tanner Kretchman, a native of Fargo, N.D., led the nation last year in assist/turnover ratio with 4.7. Kretchman averaged 16.7 points, 6.7 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. The senior has been named to the ALL-NSIC First Team twice, and last season was named to the NABC Coaches’ Division II All-District Central Region Second Team. Kretchman is the lone senior on the roster this season.

Kretchman Sets Records
Senior Tanner Kretchman is tied with Dragons assistant coach Jordan Riewer for the all-time assists record with 471. For the first time in the school’s history Kretchman has posted back-to-back seasons with at least 200 assists.

Up Next
The Dragons will host crosstown rival Concordia next Tuesday in an exhibition before heading to Springfield, Mo. for the Drury Thaksgiving Classic, where they will face Drury and William Jewell.

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