The M State Mens' basketball team was able to outlast the Itasca Vikings on Saturday at the Spartan Classic, posting a 69-67 victory in a game that featured small runs back-and-forth throughout the game. The two teams were tied at 36-36 at the half.
Offensively, the Spartans were very balanced with seven players scoring between 7 and 12 points. Alend Alemadi and Kyler Newman each contributed 12 points off the bench to lead the way. Martin LaFond had 11 and Aaron Solberg was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 10 points. LaFond added 11 rebounds and Solberg had 14 as both players completed double doubles. Austin Miller scored 9 points, TJ Martin had 8 points and 8 boards, and Samuel Priem chipped in with 7 points. M State shot 45% (28-62) from the floor and held a 38-32 edge on the boards.
Itasca made 41% (23-56) of their shots, hitting 8-of-21 (38%) from beyond the arc. Devonte Morgan had a game high 21 points to lead the Vikings. He also had 8 rebounds. Torez Kinchen added 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Andrew Johnson had a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) and Daniele Ricard scored 12 points.
M State improved to 7-6 with the victory. The Spartans go to Worthington to open MCAC Southern Division play against Minnesota West on Wednesday night. Their first home divisional contest is Saturday at 3:00pm against Ridgewater Community College.