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Cougars Fall Hard At No. 21 Minnesota State, 109-64

Derek Brown, University of Sioux Falls Cougars
University of Sioux Falls

MANKATO, MN — The University of Sioux Falls (12-10, 9-9 NSIC) suffered its worst defeat of the season Saturday night, falling 109-64 to No. 21 Minnesota State (21-4, 15-3 NSIC) in the Taylor Center in Mankato, Minn.

Senior guard Derek Brown led USF with 18 points in the game, and freshman guard Mack Johnson added 10. The Cougars recorded just ten assists and eight turnovers on the night, compared to 26 dimes and seven miscues for MSU. USF hit 30.1 percent (22-73) from the field, compared to the blistering 60.0 percent (39-65) from the Mavericks, who also connected on 15-of-27 three pointers.

Junior guard Zach Monaghan paced a septet of Mavericks in double digits, with a game-high 23 points and eight assists, while senior Tanner Adler dropped in 17 points. Junior Zach Romashko added 14 points, including a 4-of-6 showing from behind the arc.

The culprit was the start to the game — and the first half in general. USF missed its first five shots and almost immediately fell behind 16-2 lwith 14:46 left in the half. The Cougars shot just 25 percent through the first 11-plus minutes (6-24), while MSU made 13 of its first 18 attempts to extend the lead to 35-14 at the 8:32 mark.

By the time MSU took a 58-25 lead into the locker room, USF had missed 29 of its 39 shots from the field (25.6 percent), eight of of its ten 3-point attempts, and finished the first 20 minutes with only four assists. Brown scored seven for the Cougars in the half.

In contrast, the Mavericks connected on 21-of-30 (.700) shots from the field, including a 6-of-8 (.750) effort from beyond the arc. The Mavericks also scored 24 points in the paint and six more off USF turnovers in the set.

At the 12:26 point of the second half, MSU had doubled up the Cougars 84-42 before Brown hit a three-pointer and by then, both teams had already started emptying their benches to let the reserves get some playing time. All 13 Cougars saw time on the court, including a career-high 14 minutes for freshman Kebu Johnson.

The Mavericks bullied USF on the glass, 40-24 but it was the Cougars that owned a 12-6 advantage in second chance opportunities. MSU held a 16-0 advantage in fast break points and its bench outscored the Cougar reserves, 52-36.

USF wraps up its four-game road trip next weekend at the University of Mary and Minot State.

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Courtesy:  University of Sioux Falls

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