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Cougar home stand ends with loss to Black Hills State

The University of Minnesota, Morris men's basketball team played host to the Division II Black Hills State Yellow Jackets to cap off a five-game home stand Friday.

In the first half, the Cougars jumped out to a 9-5 lead.

The Yellow Jackets then pressured the Cougar guards and forced them into many turnovers which led to a 14-0 run. During this five-minute stretch, the Cougars went without a field goal, giving Black Hills a 10-point lead.

The Yellow Jackets made a 12-1 run to close the first half at 37-21.

Poor shooting plagued the Cougars in the first half, making only 22 percent of their shots, 11 percent from behind the arc, and just half of their free throws.

Coming out of the locker room for the second half, head coach Paul Grove changed the game plan. With the Yellow Jackets putting pressure on the perimeter, the Cougar pounded the ball inside to forwards Phil Allen and Derek Schmidt. They combined for 11 points on a 16-3 UMM run.

At the 8:18 mark a basket by Allen gave the Cougars their first lead of the game since the 17-minute mark of the first half at 48-47.

Black Hills rallied to retake the lead 63-55.

Then Cougar guard Eric Dalbey hit consecutive threes and the Black Hills' lead was cut to two.

Unfortunately, UMM would not draw closer as they missed shots on their last two possessions. Three Yellow Jacket free throws sealed the game at 66-61.

Despite a poor shooting night (32 percent from the field, 58 percent from the line), the Cougars out-rebounded the Yellow jackets 40-34. Twenty-two of those boards were offensive.

UMM was led by Allen who scored 20 (16 in the second half) and pulled down six rebounds. Dalbey overcame tough defensive pressure to score 13 points on the night. Guard Dan Fragodt scored eight points and had nine rebounds. Schmidt ended the night with eight of each.

The Cougars' record now stands at 3-5. They return to action Thursday when they travel to Marshall to take on the Southwest State Mustangs at 8 p.m.