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Cougars earn home UMAC semifinal

UMM Sports Information

The University of Minnesota, Morris (16-8, 10-3 UMAC) clinched the number two seed in the UMAC Tournament this Wednesday night. On Friday, Morris earned an 84-66 win over Bethany Lutheran (7-17, 6-7 UMAC). They will host a UMAC semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.

Tyler Pendleton had a career high 21 points, hitting five three pointers. Brendon Foss had 19 points and 12 rebounds, picking up a double-double. He now needs 14 points to reach 1,000 career points in his career.

RJ Dean started the scoring with a three pointer for the Cougars, who held a seven point lead four minutes into the game. Foss gave Morris a double digit lead with 14:35 left on the first half clock. Bethany went on a quick 6-0 run, cutting the Cougars lead to four at 19-15. The Vikings and Cougars traded a pair of three point shotsm but the Cougars held a six point lead with six minutes remaining in the first half.

Bethany Lutheran continued to press the Cougars and tied the game up with one minute left in the half. Thanks to a quick 5-0 spurt in the final minute, Morris took a five point lead into the halftime break. Evan Reller had seven of the final nine points for the Cougars in the first half.

Despite the Cougars outshooting the Vikings 50.0 percent to 29.0 percent in the first half; Bethany Lutheran stayed close thanks to five more made free throws and a 4-2 advantage in made three pointers.

Just like in the first half, Dean got the scoring started for the Cougars out of the break, putting them up seven. Minnesota Morris started the second half on an 11-4 run to extend their lead to ten with 16:46 left in the game. Tyler Pendleton hit back-to-back threes to push the Cougars lead to a game high 15 points at 55-40.

Minnesota Morris saw the Vikings cut the lead to eight and responded by pushing their lead back to double digits, leading by 13 with just over eight minutes to go. The Cougars never looked back, picking up a double digit win.

Reller finished with 13 points and Dean added 11. Morris outscored the Vikings 38-22 in the paint, which proved to be a big difference in the game.

Brooke Kern

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