Southwest Minnesota State used 20 points from both Joey Bartlett (6'6''-F-93) and Ryan Bruggeman (6'0''-PG-96) to earn a 71-58 victory over Upper Iowa in the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament championship game on Tuesday night at the Sanford Pentagon SMSU, 26-5 overall, earns the NSIC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament held March 11-12, 14 at a site to be determined. The 64-team field will be announced this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. CST on NCAA.com. UIU, which drops to 22-10 on the season, defeated SMSU twice during the regular season. UIU will now await word for a possible NCAA at-large bid. Bruggeman, named the tournament MVP, scored 20 points on 7 of 12 shooting with seven assists and one steal in 36 minutes in tonight's win. Bruggeman finished the four-game NSIC Tournament averaging 21 points, six assists and 3.8 rebounds, while shooting 60 percent (28 of 47) from the field and 90 percent (26 of 29) from the free throw line. The NSIC Tournament title is the program's second all-time (2012), while now appearing in six championship games. Bartlett, also named to the all-tournament team, scored 20 points with three 3-pointers and five rebounds. Michael Lee (6'6''-F-96) chipped in with nine points on three 3-pointers, while KJ Davis (6'3''-PG) added eight points. Turner Moen (6'4''-G-95) grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. SMSU closed the night shooting 44 percent (25 of 57) from the field, including a solid 44 percent (7 of 16) from 3-point range. SMSU limited UIU to just 34 percent (17 of 50) shooting, including 3 of 15 from 3-point range and also forced UIU in 15 turnovers. SMSU held a 23-6 scoring advantage in points off of turnovers. Both teams struggled shooting in the opening 10 minutes, with SMSU making just 6 of 17, while UIU started the game just 3 of 14. The Mustangs started heating up just after the midway point of the half as Joey Bartlett (6'6''-F-93) hit a pair of 3-pointers to give SMSU a 21-15 lead with 7:51 left in the half. Bartlett's second 3-pointer of the game started a run of 11 straight points scored by Bartlett to push the Mustang lead to 28-19. The Peacocks had a big answer, using an 11-0 run to take their first lead of the game at 30-28 with 2:29 remaining. SMSU came right back and closed the half on a 12-2 run to build a 40-32 halftime lead. Bruggeman started the rally with a pair of free throws and finished scoring eight points during the run. SMSU shot 43 percent (13 of 30) in the half and held a 20-18 rebound advantage. Bartlett scored 15 points in the half, while Bruggeman poured in 12 points. UIU was limited to 33 percent (10 of 30) shooting in the opening half. UIU opened the second half with a layup, but Bruggeman countered with a pair of baskets to give SMSU its largest lead at 44-34. UIU would not go away and rallied with a 14-7 midway through the half to cut the deficit to 53-50 with 8:33 on the clock. Turner Moen then hit a big jumper to spark a 9-2 run for SMSU, extending the lead to 62-52 with 5:00 remaining. SMSU had its lead trimmed to 62-53 with 4:40 left, but Lee answered with huge 3-pointer from the left corner to push the lead to 65-53 with just under four minutes left in the contest. The Peacocks would cut the lead to nine points twice in the next couple of minutes, but free throws by Mitch Weg (6'7''-F-95) and a layup following a steal by KJ Davis (6'3''-PG) sealed the victory for SMSU. Jordan Hay (6'6''-F-93) led UIU with 16 points and 15 rebounds. NSIC Tournament Final: SMSU - Upper Iowa 71-58 NSIC Tournament Semifinals: Upper Iowa - Minnesota State 63-55 SMSU - Augustana 97-89, 2OT
Joe Mazzulla Named Head Men's Basketball Coach at Fairmont State - 1 day ago
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In my Daily Dirt earlier today, I mentioned that Joe Mazzulla was the leader for DII Fairmont State. It's now been made official. Fairmont State University Director of Athletics Tim McNeely announced today that Joe Mazzulla has been named the program's 12th head men's basketball coach. Mazzulla will be introduced to the Fairmont community at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29 during a press conference inside Joe Retton Arena. Following some opening comments from Coach Mazzulla, media members... [read more]
In my Daily Dirt earlier today, I mentioned that Joe Mazzulla was the leader for DII Fairmont State. It's now been made official. Fairmont State University Director of Athletics Tim McNeely announced today that Joe Mazzulla has been named the program's 12th head men's basketball coach. Mazzulla will be introduced to the Fairmont community at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29 during a press conference inside Joe Retton Arena. Following some opening comments from Coach Mazzulla, media members will have the opportunity to do one-on-one interviews. Members of the community are invited to attend. A former West Virginia University standout, Mazzulla spent five years coaching at the NCAA Division II level, including three at Fairmont State, before serving as an assistant coach in the NBA Development league last year. 'It is a privilege to welcome Joe back to Fairmont, and we couldn't be happier to have him as our next head men's basketball coach,' said McNeely. 'Joe is well known around the state of West Virginia from leading the Mountaineers to the Final Four, and he has had success at every stop of his young coaching career. 'Coming off a national runner-up season, we wanted to keep the continuity and team chemistry as strong as possible, and we believe Joe is the correct person to keep FSU basketball rolling in the right direction.' 'I am pleased to welcome Joe back to Fairmont State, and I have complete confidence that we have found a leader that can keep FSU basketball competing at the highest level,' said FSU President Maria Rose. Mazzulla most recently served as an assistant coach for the Maine Red Claws (an affiliate of the Boston Celtics) of the NBA Developmental League for the last year. Maine currently leads the Atlantic Division of the NBADL standings with a 28-19 overall record. Prior to his position with the Red Claws, Mazzulla was an assistant coach for three seasons on Jerrod Calhoun's staff at Fairmont State. During that time, the Falcons compiled a record of 67-26 with three 20-win seasons and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. 'I would like to thank President Rose, Athletic Director Tim McNeely, Coach Jerrod Calhoun, the entire community of Fairmont and the current players at Fairmont State University for giving me the opportunity to take over the FSU basketball program,' said Mazzulla. 'It is very humbling to get this opportunity and I'm excited to come home and lead a program that is loved and supported by a group of passionate community members. Fairmont is a special place. 'I am excited to get back to work with the returning players and find ways that we can all get one percent better each day.' During his three year's on the coaching staff at Fairmont State, Mazzulla was instrumental in developing point guards Caleb Davis and Shammgod Wells into regular contributors and starters for the Falcon. Wells ended his career in 2017 as the school's all-time leader in both assists and steals. Davis started his first two seasons in Fairmont prior to becoming a key reserve for FSU as a junior in 2015-16. Davis started the first five games of the 2016-17 season before suffering a season-ending injury. Mazzulla was also key in the early development of point guard Jason Jolly, who served as the sixth-man for the Falcons in 2015-16 as a freshman. During that season, Jolly was fourth on the team in scoring (9.4) and made 52 three-pointers. Mazzulla started his coaching career by spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Glenville State. In his time with the Pioneers Mazzulla helped develop two All-WVIAC honorees and a pair of all-freshman team honorees. Prior to beginning his coaching career, Mazzulla played four seasons at West Virginia University for head coaches John Beilein and Bob Huggins. His teams made four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a berth in the Final Four in 2010. Mazzulla also won a Big East Tournament Championship and NIT Tournament Championship at WVU and the standout also excelled in the classroom, getting named to Big East Academic All-Star Team three times (2007, 2009 and 2010). The point guard was the sixth-man for the Mountaineers during the 2010 Final Four run. Mazzulla had a season-high 17 points in the regional final against Kentucky to help lead WVU to the Final Four. As a senior, Mazzulla started 16 games and averaged 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds. The standout point guard also had 139 assists during his final season with the Mountaineers. Mazzulla and his wife Camai currently reside in Fairmont and have two children, Michael Harden and Emmanuel Joseph Daniel Mazzulla. Mazzulla is a native of Johnston, R.I. Courtesy of: hoopdirt.com
Player of the Year: Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State NABC NCAA D2 All-America Team Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) of Fairmont State Joshua Blaylock (6'2''-G) of Fort Lewis Luquon Choice (6'3''-G-93) of Lincoln Memorial Devin Gilligan (6'5''-F) of Southern New Hampshire Zach Hankins (6'10''-C) of Ferris State Jeremiah Hill (6'2''-G-95) of Valdosta State Aaron Lien (6'4''-G-95) of MSU Moorhead Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State Justin Reyes (6'4''-G/F) of St. Thomas Aqu... [read more]
Player of the Year:Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State
Northwest Missouri wins Division II title - 4 days ago
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Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin... [read more]
Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) three-pointer. Fairmont's Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) went on a personal 6-0 run before Pitts responded with another triple. Fairmont entered the game averaging 95 points, but it couldn't muster much offense and its press defense was largely useless against the Bearcats. Pitts, the NABC Division II player of the year, finished with 23 points and was voted most outstanding player of the Elite Eight. The junior from Blue Springs played all 40 minutes and committed just one turnover. Chris-Ebou Ndow (6'6''-F-93) was the work horse on the boards with 18 rebounds to go along with 17 points. Anthony Woods (6'2''-G, college: NW Missouri St.) added 13. Northwest Missouri State had been the regional runner-up each of the past three years. But the Bearcats finished the job for the program's first men's basketball national championship. Courtesy of: kansascity.com
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