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Missed free throws cost Cougars at St. John's

The University of Minnesota, Morris men's basketball team hit a season-high 12 three pointers, but were unable to overcome the Johnnies in a 72-67 loss at St. John's.

Seven more three pointers cut the difference to five, but missed opportunities at the free-throw line were the Cougars' downfall.  Morris finished the game 11-of-21 from the foul line as the Johnnies finished 11-of-12 from the line.

  UMM jumped out to an early 6-0 lead with three points from Evan Reller and Logan Orazem. The lead grew to 10-2 in the opening four minutes of action. St. John's responded with an 11-2 run to take the lead.

The Johnnies kept on scoring and led by as many as 10 during the run. 

R.J. Dean hit a three pointer with just over two minutes left to cut the SJU lead to 33-30.

It was the last basket for the Cougars in the first half as the Johnnies took a 38-30 lead into the break.

  Steve Birman hit a three pointer in the opening minute of the second half to spark a 10-2 run to tie the game up. The Cougars took a one-point lead at 41-40.

Back-and-forth play continued over the next six minutes until Ben Hoidal hit a three pointer to give UMM the 54-50 lead with 9:25 left on the clock. SJU tied the game up at 54, before going up 57-54 with just over 6:30 left.

Morris was able to tie it up at 57 as they went on a 7-0 run, putting the Cougars up 61-57 with five minutes left. St. John's tied the game up at 62 and took the lead for good at 66-64 with just over three minutes left.

Minnesota Morris is back in action Jan. 4 at Valley City State.