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Minnesota Morris can't overcome Eagles

Neil Helgeson goes up for a shot attempt during the mens match up against North Central Friday night. Helgeson ended the night with 13 points and four assists in the 73-51 victory for the Cougars.1 / 2
Brendon Foss intercepts this pass attempt in UMAC basketball action Friday night.2 / 2

UMM Sports Information

UM-Morris 73, North Central 51 The Minnesota Morris Cougar mens' basketball team (13-7, 7-2 UMAC) started hot and were able to pull away from the North Central Rams (8-10, 2-7 UMAC) on Friday night with a 73-51 victory. Cody Emrick had a game high 23 points, two shy of his career high. The Cougars controlled the paint in the victory out rebounding the Rams 42-25 as well as outscoring them 28-18 in the paint.

Brendon Foss added 14 points and six rebounds. Neil Helgeson, who started on Friday night, had 13 points and four assists. John Haseman came off the bench for eight points and five rebounds in 18 minutes of action.

Minnesota Morris jumped out to a 23-9 lead out of the gate forcing the Rams to scramble. Scramble they did, pulling to within six at 28-22. The Cougars countered with an 11-3 run to take the 39-25 halftime lead.

North Central came out hungry in the second half and put the Cougars on their heels, cutting the lead to six once again. Just like in the waning minutes of the first half, Morris countered with a run and taking a 55-39 lead with 10:28 left in the game. They never looked back and increased the lead to twenty with seven minutes left en route to the 73-51 win.

Northwestern 80, UM-Morris 74 Minnesota Morris (13-8, 7-3 UMAC) could not finish a comeback against a hot shooting Northwestern (11-10, 8-2 UMAC) squad, falling 80-74 on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Eagles shot 61.7 percent from the field and 12-21 from behind the arc, holding off a late charge by the Cougars.

Northwestern made a run after the halfway point of the first half after trailing by three at 25-22. They used a 20-8 run to finish up the half and took a 42-33 lead into the locker room. The Eagles were 7-13 from three in the first twenty minutes of play led by Steven Willey who had 14 points in first half.

Morris fell behind by 14 right out of the break, but slowly made their way back into the game. With just over fifteen minutes left in the game, the Cougars had cut the lead to six. They were unable to get much closer over the next nine minutes, but found a way to get back within one possession 63-60 with 6:27 left on the clock. Foss hit a layup with 4:45 as the Cougars pulled to within one. Unfortunately, it would be as close the Cougars could get as the Eagles defense kept UMM from taking the lead back.

Minnesota Morris sits in second place in the UMAC with four games left to play in the regular season. Four players finished with double digits, led by Helgeson who had 18. Foss added 17, Cody Emrick had 11 and Evan Reller had 10 points.

Next games for the Cougars will be on the road against Northland College and the College of St. Scholastica on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15.

Brooke Kern

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