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Last minute run propels Cougars

UMM Sports Information

The University of Minnesota Morris mens basketball team held Mayville State without a field goal in the final 3:15 to overcome an eight-point deficit and pick up a 74-72 win on Friday night.

Cody Emrick's layup with 41 seconds left gave UMM a 73-72 lead as the Cougars scored five points in 17 seconds. Evan Reller ended the night with a double-double, scoring 19 points with ten rebounds.

In a game that featured ten ties and nine lead changes, no team had a lead larger than eight at anytime during the game. For a majority of the game, neither team led by more than four.

Three other Cougars scored in double digits in the win. Cody Emrick had 13 points off the bench on 4-5 shooting. Neil Helgeson added 11 and Brendon Foss had 10. As a team, Morris shot 45.3 percent from the field. UMM had 20 points off turnovers and 21 second chance points.

In the opening ten minutes of play, there were five ties. RJ Dean hit a layup with 7:13 left giving Morris a 26-21 lead but MSU hit a three pointer to close the gap to two. The lead grew to six, the biggest Cougar lead in the half as Joe Roggenbuck converted a layup. The lead did not last long as the Comets poured in six straight points to tie the game at 30 with a minute left in the half. John Haseman hit a jumper with 34 seconds left to give UMM a 32-30 lead at the halftime break.

Reller hit a jumper and added a free throw out of the break, pushing the Cougars lead to five but once again the Comets made a comeback. Back to back three pointers and a layup by Mayville State gave them a three point lead with just under 17 minutes left in the game. The Cougars responded with a six point run of their own to take the lead back just minutes later. Dean hit a pair of free throws for the Cougars with 6:55 left, giving UMM a 57-53 lead but the Comets were not done.

Over the next three and half minutes of play Mayville went on a 15-3 run to take a 68-60 lead with 3:15 left. Four quick points by the Cougars cut the lead to four but the Comets hit a pair of free throws to push their lead back up to six with 2:02 left. Another four point spurt by the Cougars cut the Comets lead to just two but again Comet free throws gave them a two possession lead. After a pair of missed layups, Helgeson drew a foul and hit a pair of free throws to pull UMM with two, 72-70. After putting on the full court press the Cougars forced a turnover on a traveling call. The Cougars again missed a pair of layups but again drew a foul, sending Reller to the line with a chance to tie the game. Reller missed the first but hit the second as Mayville clung to 72-71 lead. The full court press did its job once again forcing a turnover in the backcourt as Foss stole the ball and dished it off to Emrick, who hit a layup, giving UMM the 73-72 lead.

Mayville State turned the ball over on their next possession and was forced to foul when the Cougars got the ball back. Emrick went to the line and hit a free throw giving Morris a 74-72 lead with 13 seconds left. A last chance three pointer by Mayville State hit off the back iron and the Cougars escaped with the two point win.

The Cougars are now 6-2 and will host Valley City State University on Friday, Dec. 20 in the P.E. Center. Tip off is at 7:30 p.m.