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Cougar men to host UMAC semi-final game Thursday

The University of Minnesota, Morris split a pair of Upper Midwest Athletic Conference contests at home over the weekend.

The Cougars finish the regular season 9-5 in the conference and 13-12 overall. They earned the No. 2 seed in the UMAC and host a semifinal game this Thursday at the P.E. Center.

Northwestern 80

UM-Morris 65

The UMAC's No. 1 seed, Northwestern, handed the Cougars an 80-65 conference loss Friday at the P. E. Center.

The Eagles shot 52 percent and 50 percent on three-pointers.

The outside shooting would be the difference for the Eagles, who were evenly matched in the paint by the UMM posts, who accounted for 43 of the team's 65 points. In the first half, Northwestern took advantage of second-chance opportunities to keep a six-to-eight point lead. They used patient ball movement and reversals to thwart the Cougar's 2-3 zone defense.

Meanwhile, the Cougars handled the ball well in the first half with only two turnovers. Phil Allen and Mitch Primus kept the Cougars within striking distance at halftime, trailing 44-35.

In the second half, the Eagles frustrated every Cougar run with a series of threes.

Allen led with a game-high 19 points.

UM-Morris 104

Crown College 67

The Cougars secured the No. 2 seed in the UMAC post-season tournament with a 104-67 victory over visiting Crown College Saturday.

The Cougars shot 61 percent in the first half, opening an early margin by pushing the tempo against a sluggish-looking Crown team. UMM's defensive pressure kept Crown from establishing rhythm and forced them into 20 turnovers.

The Cougars dished out a season-high 29 assists and tied their season low with only 12 turnovers. UMM won the rebounding battle 36-23, led by Derek Schmidt with nine.

In the first half, the Cougars relied on ball reversals to find open looks in the paint. Schmidt led the charge with 17 points and Allen contributed 15.

At halftime, the Cougars led 54-35.

In the second half, the Cougars continued to push the ball and wear down the Crown players.

The Purple Storm was led by David Glover with 19 points. Maurice Lloyd added 12.