Monthly Archives: December 2015

THE NEXT LEVEL: Douglas making his mark at Morris

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CD Douglas drives to the basket for a layup in a game this season.

MARSHALL – Not even two seasons into his college career, 2014 Marshall High School graduate Carl “CD” Douglas has etched his name into the University of Minnesota Morris record books.

On Dec. 5, Douglas had his best game to date, finishing with 35 points in a 109-105 overtime win against Crown College. The mark earned him conference player of the week honor – the first of two so far this season – and tied the program’s single-game scoring record, which Douglas now holds with three other players.

“His 35 points against Crown were actually a quiet 35,” said UMM head coach Paul Grove. “I was surprised after the game to see he had that many points, which is a compliment to him. We needed every one of them since it was an overtime game. He will certainly have more games like that one.”

The 6-foot-2 guard credited a height advantage he had on his opponent, which opened up driving lanes to get to the basket.

Douglas is averaging 20.4 points per game to lead the Cougars in scoring this season. That average is also good for second in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, just one-tenth of a point behind the current leader.

“Since the first day of basketball as a freshman, he has been able to get to the basket and score,” Grove said. “He is explosive to the basket and can slice through any number of defenders on his way to the rim.”

Offense isn’t the only area that Douglas has made his mark. Through eight games, he is averaging almost six rebounds and a conference-leading two-and-a-half steals per contest.

The game after tying the scoring record, he set a career-high with six steals against St. John’s. As a true freshman last season, Douglas was named to the UMAC all-defensive team after recording 59 steals in 27 games.

“We worked on (defense) a lot in high school,” Douglas said. “It definitely made the transition to playing defense at the college level easier.”

Grove agreed. “(Marshall coach Travis) Carroll deserves a pat on the back for giving CD the foundation to excel at the college level.”

Douglas has started 31 of 35 games since he arrived on the UMM campus. Not even halfway into his second season, Grove still sees a lot of upside for his sophomore guard.

“As his coach, I need to find ways for him to continually improve,” Grove said. “He is always receptive when we have those talks. I really think he could become the best player in the UMAC.”

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SMSU MEN’S BASKETBALL: Bruggeman lifts SMSU over Minot State

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SMSU’s Ryan Bruggeman gets to the basket for the game-winning layup to give SMSU a 86-84 victory over Minot State on Saturday.

MARSHALL – Saturday night was on its way to looking just like Friday night for Southwest Minnesota State – a loss.

With four minutes left, the Mustangs trailed by seven. That’s when Ryan Bruggeman took the game over and led SMSU to a 86-84 come-from-behind victory over Minot State.

The redshirt freshman finished with seven points and eight assists in the win.

Bruggeman was responsible for 10 of his team’s 11 points in the last four minutes, tallying five points and two assists in the stretch.

His last two points were the biggest.

The Mustangs made a defensive stop and got the ball back with 17 seconds remaining and the game tied at 84. Bruggeman did the rest.

“The coaches drew up a play to give me a high ball screen,” Bruggeman said. “Coming off, we had Joey (Bartlett) popping up and Shaun (Condon) in the corner. (Minot State) just went to the shooters and I had a free lane.”

The high ball screen was an adjustment made by the coaching staff late in the game.

“We provided some space on the floor to allow for better driving lanes,” SMSU coach Brad Bigler said. “Fortunately for us, Ryan was able to turn the corner and get that layup.”

It was a familiar sight for the Beavers, as they lost Friday night to the University of Sioux Falls in overtime on a last-second shot. This time, the defensive lapse was a breakdown in execution by Minot State.

“We came out of timeout saying we have to protect the lane and make them take a contested jumper and we didn’t do that,” MISU coach Matt Murken said. “Good execution on their part.”

Carter’s career night

The Beavers defense struggled to contain Carter Kirk all night long. The reserve center finished the game with a career-best 19 points on 9 of 10 shooting.

In the first half, the only thing that slowed Kirk was foul trouble. Though the sophomore center only played eight minutes due to picking up three fouls, he led the Mustangs in the frame with nine points.

“When he can slow it down and allow things to come to him, boy he’s a tough matchup in the post,” Bigler said. “Now the next phase is, there are teams that will double him and we have to make the right decision out of those doubles. He has the skill set and size to throw over the double team, but now we have to make the right decision and other guys will have to knock down those open shots.”

Just like he did throughout the night, it was Kirk who came up big in a key moment, getting a bucket and a blocked shot to start the SMSU comeback.

It was that block that began an improved defensive effort down the stretch, as the Beavers finished just 2 for 9 from that point forward. Dominique McDonald had an open look for Minot State as time expired, but he missed the game-tying layup and SMSU escaped with the 86-84 win.

SMSU will close out the 2015 portion of its schedule on Saturday night at the R/A Facility against USF. The Cougars defeated the Mustangs 78-72 in the first meeting of the season between the teams.