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Basketball: UM-Morris unable to weather the Storm

The University of Minnesota Morris men’s basketball team certainly battled throughout, but the Cougars were unable to weather the storm, falling 96-78 in their Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) opener Wednesday, Dec. 5, in St. Bonifacius.

The Storm jumped out to a commanding 12-4 lead early in the contest after cold shooting and a pair of turnovers by UMM.

Then the Halverson brothers started to heat up. Jeffrey Halverson got the scoring started for the Cougars in a big way, scoring the team's first 10 points. When the defense started to shift toward Jeffrey, Jeremy Halverson stepped in without missing a beat. A three-pointer by Jeremy at the 7:43-mark of the first half help cut the lead to a single possession. It was a strong performance for the duo that scored 18 of the Cougars' 37 first half points.

Crown's Timothy Wendel hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to extend the Storm lead to 45-37 at the halftime break.

The major key of the game was points off turnovers. Crown was able to score 22 points off Cougar turnovers while Minnesota Morris managed just eight points. The Storm held an advantage in second chance points (11 to 8), points off the bench (17-13) and fast break points (15-4). The Cougars were also unable to control the paint as the Storm scored 54 of its 96 points inside the paint.

The Cougars played catch up for much of the second half, managing to cut the lead to a single possession on numerous occasions, but were unable to obtain the lead.

Senior Noah Grove recorded a double-double for Minnesota Morris, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He also recorded a pair of assists. Much of Grove's damage to the Storm was done from the charity stripe, going 5-for-8.

In 29 minutes of action, Jeffrey Halverson led the Cougars with 22 points on 10-of-20 shooting (8-15 FG, 2-5 3pt) and grabbed eight rebounds while Jeremy Halverson scored 14 points on 8-of-12 shooting (5-7 FG, 3-5 3pt). He also recorded six rebounds, two blocks and dished an assist.

The Cougars (2-5, 0-1 UMAC) will look to snap the two-game skid against University of Wisconsin Superior at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in Morris.