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Cougar men open 2013 season 2-1 going into the weekend

UMM Sports Information

The University of Minnesota, Morris men’s basketball team opened the 2013 season 2-1 with a loss to Concordia and wins over Trinity Bible College and St. John’s University.

Concordia 63

UM-Morris 39

The Cougars dropped their season opener 63-39 to Concordia Moorhead on Friday, Nov. 15.

Tyler Pendleton led the team with nine points on 3-fo-5 shooting. Brendon Foss had seven points and seven rebounds, leading the team on the boards.

The Cougars were 14-for-44 from the floor  and just 3-of-15 from behind the three-point arc.

The Cobbers jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first 4:07 and never looked back. Morris cut the lead to six with just under 10 minutes left in the half. Concordia responded and increased their lead to 10. Minnesota Morris again closed to within two possessions, this time with 3:48 left in the half, but got no closer.

In the final minutes of the first half Concordia held UMM scoreless and increased their lead to 14 at the break.

Concordia College increased the lead to 18 out of the halftime break. The lead got as large as 24, with the Cobbers leading 61-37 with 1:41 left.

That was the margin at the end of the game as well, as the Cobbers won the game 63-39.

UM-Morris 84

Trinity Bible 63

The Cougars picked up their first win of the season, pulling away in the second half against the Trinity Bible Lions Tuesday for an 84-63 victory.

Evan Reller led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds. Three other Cougars had 14 points in the win.

Reller's 17 points tied a career high, a mark he has reached twice before. Brendon Foss and R.J. Dean each had 14 points and seven rounds. Tyler

Pendleton also had 14 points, going 6-for-6 from the foul line. Neil Helgeson came off the bench and added 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

Morris out rebounded the Lions 45-29 and overcame 19 turnovers. The Cougars outshot Trinity 50.8 percent to 39.3 percent including 62.5 percent to 44.0 percent in the second half.

Minnesota Morris held a 15-9 lead just four minutes into the game. Trinity pulled to within one at 18-17, but UMM responded with a 9-1 run. The

Lions again closed in on the lead, but could not get any closer than three in the first half.

Trinity tied the game at 47, but the Cougars responded with a run of their own taking control.

UM-Morris 84

Trinity Bible 63

Thanks to a hot shooting second half, especially from three-point land, the Cougars overcame a 44-36 first half deficit to defeat St. John's 96-87 Thursday.     

Minnesota Morris was 8-of-10 from three-point territory in the second half and was 12-of-21 overall. Cody Emrick had a season-high 25 points, 22 in the second half, to lead the team in scoring.

Tyler Pendleton had a career-high 20 points including going 5-of-7 from behind the three-point arc. In the second half Pendleton was 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. Emrick was also 3-of-3 from behind the arc in the second half and helped ice the game going 9-for-10 from the foul line in the second half.

Four other Cougars scored in double figures including R.J. Dean (12), Neil Helgeson (11), Brendon Foss (10) and Kevin Heysee (10).

It was a tight battle in the first half as the Cougars and Johnnies went back and forth. The score was tied at 14 with 11:53 left in the half when St. John's tried to gain some separation. After taking the lead with a jump shot, two minutes later, the Johnnies did not let the Cougars tie the score the rest of the half. A 10-3 run gave SJU a 28-20 lead with 5:59 left in the half. The Cougars got as close as four, but were kept from cutting the lead to a single possession. The lead grew to 10 after Alex Schmitt hit a three with 1:47 left in the half. Heysee hit a three for the Cougars with less than 10 seconds left, cutting the lead to five, but Jack Wittenberg responded with a three at the buzzer giving SJU the 44-36 lead at the half.

In the first 20 minutes of action UMM shot 11-for-26 from the field and struggled at the line, going 10-of-16. St. John's outscored Morris 28-14 in the paint in the first half. Heysee and Pendleton each had seven points in the half for UMM. The Johnnies were on fire from the field in the opening half, shooting 71.4 percent (20-28).

Out of the break the Cougars went on a 9-3 run to tie the game at 47 thanks to two threes from Emrick. The run continued as the Cougars took a 51-47 lead after layups from Evan Reller and Dean. Minnesota Morris prevented the Johnnies from tying the game back up until the 10:33 mark in the second half. Foss hit a three with 8:14 left, capping a quick 5-0 run, but SJU cut the lead to one with 5:59 left.

Leading by two, 73-71, with 4:09 left, the Cougars went on an 11-3 run to take a 10-point lead with 1:27 left in the game. The Johnnies did not go away quietly, hitting three long-range shots to attempt a comeback. St. John's fouled late to aid the comeback, but the Cougars went 12-for-12 from the foul line in the final 68 seconds to secure the victory. Prior to the 12 straight made free throws Morris was 18-of-28 (64 percent) from the foul line in the game.

The Cougars shot 16-of-21 from the field in the second half. In addition, they were 20-of-24 from the foul line in the final 20 minutes of action.