Friday, January 21, 2011

MSU men, women try to get back on track

The Minnesota State men's and women's basketball teams take on Bemidji State at 6 and 8 p.m. Friday, then play Minnesota Duluth at 4 and 6 p.m. Saturday. All games will be played at Bresnan Arena.

You can follow these games with my live blog each night.

We're at the halfway point in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schedule, and the Mavericks have just six home games remaining in the regular season.

Despite the loss at Mary on Saturday, the men's team remains in first place in the conference, leading Winona State by one game and Mary by 1 1/2 games. This weekend's opponents are both in the bottom half of the league, with losing records.

But Bemidji State and Minnesota Duluth brings different challenges. The Beavers don't mind playing a high-tempo game, and all five of their starters are double-figure scorers. Minnesota Duluth is more methodical (boring)and have caused problems for past Minnesota State with that deliberate style.

If you like entertaining basketball, Friday's your night. But you should expect the home team to sweep these games.

The women's team is in ninth place in the conference, with the top eight qualifying for the league tournament. Bemidji State has struggled, but Minnesota Duluth will be a tough test.

The Mavericks have played much better at home and should get a split, but a sweep would really help the postseason outlook.

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