Cougar men win on the road, head into four-game home stand
Behind their highest scoring effort of the season, the University of Minnesota, Morris men's basketball team scored an 88-75 comeback win on the road over North Central in nonconference action.
The Cougars had a season-high five players finished in double figures, led by a career-high 25 from Brodie Raymond. Raymond went 8-of-13 from the field as well as 5-of-9 from behind the arc and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in a career night.
The 25 points is the most for any Cougar this season, while he paced Morris to nine three pointers on the night.
Ben Hoidal with 14, Logan Orazem with 13, and Kyle Bruns and Evan Reller each with 10 rounded out the cluttered Cougar leader board.
The Rams, meanwhile, had four players in double figures, and it looked for a while as if they may carry the team to a win. After a close, back-and-forth game for much of the first 30 minutes, North Central jumped out to a seven-point lead with 9:13 left.
The Rams still led by six at 71-65 with 7:08 left, but a Reller trip to the free-throw line the next time down the floor started a 23-2 Cougar run, capped by two Raymond free throws in the final minute that put Morris up 88-73. NCU closed the game with one more basket for the final margin of victory.
A three pointer by Hoidal with 4:43 left gave the Cougars the lead for good at 74-71, while a three-point play by Zach Meyer with 1:15 to go put the Cougars up nine, and left the game out of reach.
The Cougars finished shooting 83 percent (19-of-23) at the free-throw line, their second best game of the season, with each of their top four games resulting in wins.
Morris also finished with 45 rebounds - their fifth highest total of the season - and was led by a career-high 12 from Bruns. Added with his 10 points, it marks the first double double of Bruns' career.
Their final road game wrapped up, the Cougars will now start a four-game home stand to close out the season and lock up a berth in the UMAC Tournament. Currently sitting in the fourth and final spot, they have a two-game cushion ahead of fifth place while also sitting two games out of third.
Morris has played in the last two UMAC Tournament Championship games, and begins its trek for a fourth when they host Crown Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Northwestern Saturday at 5 p.m.