During the weekend, while most students at Southwest Minnesota State University were enjoying an extra day off for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the Rolling Mustangs went on the road and competed at a tournament in Edinboro, Pa. In the tournament, the team went 2-2, splitting the tournament to bring their current record to 6-6. Southwest lost to Wisconsin Whitewater and the University of Illinois men’s team and they defeated the host Edinboro team as well as the Illinois women’s teams.
The Rolling Mustangs’ first game on Saturday was against the Illinois women’s team. The team led 36-19 at halftime and was able to cruise to a 61-42 victory. In the game, senior Nathan Peitz led the team with a game-high 23 points. Senior Evan Thorn finished the game with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists.
In the second of three Friday games, SMSU faced the Illinois men’s team. Even though the game was tied at halftime, the Rolling Mustangs were unable to close out the game victoriously as they came up short by a final score of 56-35. Peitz was once again the leading scorer for Southwest with 11 points. Senior Jared Riggle also chipped in 8 points on 4-7 shooting.
To close out the first day of basketball, the Rolling Mustangs faced the defending national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks. The game was never really close as the Warhawks defeated Southwest 73-42. Peitz was the leading scorer for a tired Rolling Mustangs squad, scoring 12 points. Junior Nathan Carruth also added 8 points
In the final game of the weekend, the Rolling Mustangs beat the Fighting Scots of Edinboro 56-42. Leading the way was Carruth who scored 18 points. He also grabbed 7 rebounds and had 3 assists. The team finished the game shooting 15-19 from the charity stripe. Senior Christian Ekunwe finished the game with 13 points and 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the weekend.
The next action for the team is this weekend as they travel down to Columbia, Mo., for a five game tournament. Opponents will include Texas-Arlington, Missouri, Arizona and Alabama.