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Cougar rally falls short at Presentation

The University of Minnesota, Morris men's basketball team saw its second half comeback come up just short Tuesday falling 55-52 on the road to Presentation in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) opener.

The Cougars trailed by 16 at 34-18 at the break, and by as much as 18 early in the second half.

After a three-point play by Kyle Bruns with just 51 seconds left, though, the Cougars had come all the way back within one of the Saints at 53-52. However, that was as close as Morris would get, as a three-point attempt in the final seconds missed that would have given the Cougars the win.

Morris also lost to Presentation in last season's conference opener, but rebounded nicely to go 10-4 in league action and finish in second in the final standings.

The Cougars were led once again by Derek Schmidt, who scored 15 to up his season average to 12.6 per game, posting his second best night of the year. He was joined on the leader board with 13 from Bruns, his best mark of the season.

Brendon Foss led the way on the defensive end, pulling down a team-high 10 rebounds, posting double-digit boards for the second time this season.

Each team finished near 40 percent shooting for the game, and were nearly identical on the boards. Where the Saints made their ground was in their 10 three-pointers, compared to just five for the Cougars.

After its opening loss last season, Morris went on to sweep through Northwestern and Crown the following weekend, and they will have the chance to do the same this season, as the Cougars stay on the road to take on the Eagles and Storm this weekend.

The Cougars will also be looking to avenge their UMAC Tournament Championship game loss to Northwestern from last season, when they take on the preseason favorites.