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Shawn Neu, left, of Ridgewater drives on Kenny Olafeso of Minneapolis during the first half of their MCAC Southern Division men's basketball game Wednesday night in Willmar. Tribune photo by T.J. Bartelt

Warriors' upset bid falls short

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college Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- The Ridgewater men's basketball team gave No. 1-ranked Minneapolis a run for its victory Wednesday, but lost 75-65 in MCAC Southern Division action.

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The Warriors (3-1, 11-7) also dropped out of a first-place tie with the Mavericks (4-0, 17-1), who are the top rated team in NJCAA Division III.

Ridgewater hung close early, trailing 16-13 on a mix of second-chance points and timely defense, though Minneapolis made a spectacle out of driving the baseline for double-handed jams to bring a lot noise from the crowd.

The Mavericks eventually opened their lead to 26-16, using their full-court press and offensive quickness. The half ended with the Warriors behind, 42-25.

Ridgewater improved its shooting and won the turnover battle in the second half, but it wasn't enough. The Warriors shot 48 percent (15 of 31) from the field in the second, compared to 31 percent (8 of 26) in the first and scored 16 points off of turnovers to Minneapolis' six.

But the Mavericks continued their blistering shooting streak, connecting on 54 percent (14 of 26) of its shots in the second half.

Cory Nietfeld scored a game-high 24 points for the Warriors, who played all 11 players. He also grabbed seven rebounds. Ben Moser added 1 points and six boards.

Cortez Wallace of Minneapolis, who had couple of spectacular first-half dunks, led the Mavericks with 16 points.

Minneapolis 75, Ridgewater 65

Minneapolis (4-0, 17-1) 42 33 -- 75

Ridgewater (3-1, 11-7) 25 40 -- 65

MINNEAPOLIS - 31-59 FG (1-12 3-pt); 12-22 FT; 40 rebounds; 20 fouls ... Scoring: Sean Mayberry 3, Kenny Olafeso 11, Ronald Kelly Jr. 4, Demetrius Williams 4, Peter Olafeso 12, Cortez Wallace 16, Marshaan Johnson 2, Cameron Hodges 15, Jared Moore 7, Denis Shatilov 1 ... 3-point shots: Hodges 1 ... Rebound leaders: K.Olafeso 7, Wallace 6, P.Olafeso 5 ... Assist leaders: K.Olafeso 5 ... Steal leaders: K.Olafeso 2

RIDGEWATER - 23-57 FG (5-19 3-pt); 14-19 FT; 33 rebounds; 21 fouls ... Scoring: Ben Moser 11, Joe Anderson 2, Beau Bredeson 3, Dan Hennen 2, Chad Mulder 4, Derek Eisenschenk 6, Cory Nietfeld 24, Casey Sussenguth 8, Tom Boike 5 ... 3-point shots: Moser 1, Bredeson 1, Eisenschenk 2, Nietfeld 1 ... Rebound leaders: Moser 6, Nietfeld 7 ... Assist leaders: Bredeson 4 ... Steal leaders: Bredeson 3

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