Monday, December 14, 2009

Northern Sun Takes a Break

Like the MIAC, the Northern Sun takes a break from conference action during the second half of December, and so we know that the NSIC will enter the new year with the Minnesota State-Mankato men and the Concordia women holding down first place in their respective divisions.

Mav Men

Among the men, the Mavericks are the only remaining unbeaten at 3-0. Seniors Travis Nelson, a 6-11 center, and Jefferson Mason, a 6-6 guard who played his high school ball at Armstrong, are leading the way with 33 points per game between them. Mason leads the team in rebounding with 9 per game, while Nelson also contributes a team-high 2 blocks per outing.

St. Cloud State, Winona State and surprising Upper Iowa share second place at 3-1. The Warriors guard tandem of David Johnson, the 6-2 senior from Hayfield, and Ben Fisher lead the conference with 23.9 points and 7.9 assists, respectively. Winona rebounded from an 88-87 overtime loss at Bemidji last Friday night by blasting Minnesota-Duluth 120-78 on Saturday. Johnson scored 35 points while Fisher had 12 points and 14 assists, and the Warriors tied the school record for points in a game.

Meanwhile, Anthony Moody of Mary is doing it all--leading his team with 17 points, 5-and-a-half rebounds and 3-and-a-half assists, while playing a league-high of 36 minutes per game.

Mankato, Winona and St. Cloud State all appear in the second ten of the national D2 rankings. The next really big game on the NSIC men's schedule has Mankato at Winona on Saturday, January 9.

Among the Women

Meanwhile, the Concordia women holds first place at 4-0 after surprising previously unbeaten Minnesota State-Moorhead at Moorhead on Saturday night, 77-65. Augustana and Mankato State but a half-game back at 3-0.

The Bears are led by Jineen Williams with 16 points and 4 assists per game, while Jennie Noreen, sophomore guard from Albany, has wasted no time in becoming the Mavs go-to player with 16.8 ppg while shooting .552 from the floor (.475 from behind the 3 point line) and adding 2 steals per game. Moorhead is led by inside players Alison Nash-Gerlach and Meghan Rettke, seniors from Roseville and Hutchinson, respectively, with 28 points and 19 rebounds between them. The early favorite for MVP honors, however, would be Jheri Booker, Minnesota-Duluth, with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals.

The big game coming back from the holiday break looks to be Mankato State at Moorhead State on Saturday, January 3.

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