NSIC Opener: UMary vs. Minot State

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The Marauders men’s basketball team enters its conference opener at 2-3 after back-to-back wins. The University of Mary dropped its first three games by a combined 11 points.

Joe Kittell’s team is only giving up 56 points a game. That’s a number he would love to see continue once the conference games begin, so it’s easy to say the defense is ahead of the offense right now.

"Some anticipation issues, just not being ready or not being comfortable so we're just going to have to get our poise,” said Kittell. “We have to get our confidence and when we get an opportunity to make a big play we just have to make it. I think we're in good spots but as a coaching staff we just have to make them feel comfortable in these sports and poised and just ready to make the big play for us on the offense end ling they are on the defensive end."

The Marauders open against their travel partner, Minot State. It’s the only time during the Northern Sun when they will not play on back-to-back days. "The first Saturday, the night in, night out against really good team that are coached really well and that have really good players, it's a lot. You don't see a lot of easy wins on our schedule when you start looking at the conference play so it comes down to toughness. It comes down to being competitive. It comes down to just doing the right things every day to prepare yourself for the Friday-Saturday, but it's something that can definitely haunt you if you let it."

The Beavers will be at the MacDowell Activity Center for a women’s and men’s double header beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.