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Cougar men end 2011 schedule with loss to Johnies

The University of Minnesota, Morris men's basketball team closed out 2011 with a 73-58 loss to the St. Johns Johnnies at home on Dec. 15.

The Cougars held an early lead in the game as they got out to a 15-9 advantage with 13:48 left in the first half. The Johnnies fought back, as the lead would end up changing hands five different times and took a five-point lead into the break.

In the second half both teams battled as the Cougars were able to overcome an eight-point deficit to bring the game within one at the 9:24 mark. St. Johns capitalized on turnovers and missed shots as they outscored Morris 27-12 to end the game.

Derek Schmidt continued to lead the Cougars in scoring with 18 points as the only Cougar in double figures. Schmidt also led the team with seven rebounds. Kyle Bruns had nine points to go with three rebounds. Logan Orazem led the team with five assists.

Saint John's had three players in double digits, as Andy Burns led the team with 21 points.

Morris had 23 turnovers, while Saint John's only had nine. Saint John's was able to score 27 points off of the Cougar mistakes. Both teams played a very physical game as they each had 32 points in the paint.

Morris is now 2-5 on the season and has two more non-conference games before conference play begins on Jan. 10 at Presentation.

With winter break upon UMM, the Cougars will be out of action until they return home on Jan. 4 to host Valley City State at 7:30 p.m.