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Cougar men win sixth straight

UMM Sports Information

The University of Minnesota, Morris Cougar men hold first in the UMAC after fifth and sixth straight victories over the weekend. The Cougars beat out Martin Luther on Friday, Jan. 31, and Bethany Lutheran on Saturday, Feb. 1 for a 6-1 first place record.

UM-Morris 78, Martin Luther 67

It took awhile for the Cougars’ shooting to come alive on Friday night, but they were able to erase a seven point deficit and pulled away late for a 78-67 win over Martin Luther. The win moves Minnesota Morris to 7-1 at home this season. Evan Reller and Brendon Foss each had double-doubles for the Cougars.

Morris held a 22-10 advantage in second chance points, which proved important in the win. Reller finished the game with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Foss added a game high 23 points and 11 rebounds. Cody Emrick added 16 points on 4-7 shooting from three. Neil Helgeson came off the bench and provided the Cougars with 13 points. Tyler Pendleton had a career high six assists, as the Cougars had 17 assists on 26 made baskets.

Reller converted a three point play early in the first half giving the Cougars an 11-6 lead with 14:02 left. Trailing by two at 14-12, the Knights went on an 11-2 run, taking a seven point lead, their largest of the game, with 6:45 left in the half. Over the next four minutes, UMM cut the lead to three on a couple occasions, but MLC held a six point lead with just over a minute left. A quick five point burst by the Cougar offense cut the lead to one just before the halftime break.

Minnesota Morris took the lead early in the second half on an Emrick layup. The Knights took the lead right back, but Morris put together an 13-3 run thanks to a three pointer from Foss and back to back threes from Emrick. The Knights got as close as four with ten minutes left in the game, but Morris did not let them get any closer. The Cougars converted their free throws late in the game to secure the victory. Morris shot 6-12 from three in the second half, which helped them pull off the comeback 78-67.

UM-Morris 70, Bethany Lutheran 55

The Cougars won their sixth straight game on Saturday, Feb. 1 and now sit alone in first place in the UMAC following a 70-55 win over Bethany Lutheran.

Emrick had 19 points in 35 minutes of action.

Both the Cougars and Vikings went toe to toe early and the score was deadlocked at nine with 15:34 left in the first half. Over the next three minutes of play, Morris went on an 11-2 run, taking a 20-11 lead. Five different Cougars had a basket during the run. Bethany Lutheran closed to within two with eight minutes left in the half. An 8-2 Vikings run put them back in the lead, 36-34 with just over three minutes left in the half. Reller scored the Cougars last six points of the half and took a 39-36 lead at the break.

RJ Dean connected on a layup and a three pointer out of halftime, pushing the lead to eight. The Cougars started the half on an 18-7 run, increasing their lead to 14 with 7:11 left in the game. Bethany Lutheran hit back with a 7-0 run to cut the lead in half, but UMM countered with a 7-0 run of their own pushing the lead back to 14 with 2:12 left. The Vikings were unable to respond to the final punch the Cougars threw and Morris walked away with a 70-55 win.

Minnesota Morris hit seven threes and used a 13-8 advantage in points off turnovers to create separation from the Vikings. Reller finished the game with 11 points and nine rebounds. Foss had 12 points and eight rebounds. John Haseman had eight points off the bench to lead the Cougars bench scoring. The team had a 14-7 assist to turnover ratio as well and forced 15 Viking turnovers.

The home stand will continue on Tuesday, Feb. 4 as the Crown College Storm come to town for a 7:30 tip.

Brooke Kern

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