The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) Golden Eagles Men’s basketball team traveled to the Twin Cities on Friday night to take on the Concordia University of St. Paul Golden Bears. The game featured plenty of lead changes, but the Golden Eagles were able to go on a late run and knock down their free throws to end their nine-game losing streak with a 77-72 win.


The first half was filled with points early. UMC started the game on a 9-2 run with baskets from Brian Sitzmann (Sr. Savage, Minn.), Zach Westphal (Sr. West Fargo, N.D.), and four points from Nathaniel Powell (So. Nottingham, England). The Golden Eagles were firing on all cylinders starting the game shooting 6-7 from the field to help build a 20-9 lead with 12:18 remaining in the first half. The Golden Eagles continued to score at will, and after a Leonard Dixon (Jr. Damascus Ore.) layup, UMC had stretched the lead to 29-17. The rest of the half was owned by Concordia. The Golden Bears were able to go on 14-5 run over the next few minutes and pull the score within 3 at 34-31 UMC. After a Powell layup with 6:18 remaining, the teams would go scoreless until the Golden Bears answered with a layup of their own making the score 36-33 UMC with 3:44 to play until halftime. The Golden Bears would use that layup to jump-start another 14-5 run, this time to end the first half, as they would take a 45-41 lead into halftime. UMC was led by Powell and Uzo Dibiamaka (So. Adelaide, Australia.) with 10 points each. The Golden Bears finished the first half shooting 53% from the field, while UMC shot 51% after their hot start. Concordia University of St. Paul also outrebounded the Golden Eagles 18-11 in the first twenty minutes.


After a Golden Bears basket to start the half, UMC countered with a Dixon three making it 47-44 Concordia. The teams traded a few baskets until two free throws from Westphal and a Dixon layup gave UMC their first lead of the second half at 53-52 with 15:13 remaining in the game. The teams traded the lead back and forth over the next couple of minutes until an 8-0 Golden Bears run gave them a 63-56 lead with 11:10 left to play. UMC refused to go away though, and slowly chipped away at the lead. Eventually, UMC would reclaim the lead on a Jerome Mabry (So. Milwaukee, Wis.) dunk to give the Golden Eagles a 66-65 lead with 5:46 remaining. Concordia would score the next four points before a Mabry layup made it 69-68 Golden Bears with 1:36 left to play. After a stop, Dibiamaka would add a layup and UMC would have the lead once again at 70-69. After another stop, two free throws from Dixon gave the Golden Eagles a 72-69 lead with 36 seconds left. UMC would hit 7 of their last 8 free throw attempts to fend off a Golden Bears comeback and secure a 77-72 victory. UMC had four players in double figures and made 22 free throws in the winning effort.

UMC improves to 5-12 on the season and 2-9 in NSIC play. Their game for tomorrow against Minnesota State Mankato has been canceled due to Covid concerns within the Mavericks program, so the Golden Eagles will be back in action next weekend when they travel for two road games against Southwest Minnesota State University, and the University of Sioux Falls. Concordia University of St. Paul falls to 1-16 and 0-10 in NSIC play with the loss.

1st  2nd  Final
UMC 41 36 77
Concordia-SP 45 27 72


For UMC Points Rebounds Assists/Steals
Uzo Dibiamaka 15 6 3 assists/1 block
Brian Sitzmann 15 5 1 assist
Leonard Dixon 14 7 3 steals/2 assists
Nathaniel Powell 10 6 2 assists/1 block
Zach Westphal 9 1
Marcus Thompson 7 2 2 steals/ 1 assist
Jerome Mabry 4 4 1 assists/1 steal
Sam Tiley 3 2 1 assist/1 block


Nathaniel Powell