Not only did the Minnesota State men's basketball team lose at St. Cloud State on Saturday, closing the conference lead to one game, the Mavericks also missed a chance to take over the top spot in the Central Region when Mesa State lost to Western New Mexico later Saturday.
The Mavericks had a chance to clinch a share of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship and the right to host the league tournament by defeating St. Cloud State, but senior center Matt Schneck made sure that didn't happen with 34 points and 18 rebounds in the 92-84 victory.
Minnesota State has three games remaining in the regular season, starting Saturday at Southwest Minnesota State. The Mavericks may have to win all three to win the Northern Sun and may have to win the conference tournament to wrestle the region's top seed away from Mesa State.
The region rankings come out Wednesday, and despite the loss, second-seeded Minnesota State may have closed the gap a little on Mesa State, based on strength of schedule. Mesa State plays a key game at Fort Lewis on Saturday that will surely get the attention of the Mavericks, who also need to take care of their own business.