The University of Minnesota Morris men's basketball team split in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference action to end last week. The Cougars topped Crown in overtime in a rescheduled game Thursday, Jan. 31, in Morris then fell at Bethany Lutheran Saturday, Feb. 2, in Mankato.

The Cougars now head to New Ulm to take on Martin Luther on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Game time is set for 7:15 p.m.

UM-Morris 76, Crown 74 OT

The University of Minnesota Morris men's basketball team outlasted the Crown College Storm, 76-74, in overtime Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Cougar Sports Center in Morris. Senior Noah Grove scored 20 points in the victory.

Along with Grove's 20-point outing, Jeffrey Halverson scored 19 points and recorded 12 rebounds, while James Pendleton tallied 17 points of his own.

"That was not a typical Crown-Morris game," UM-Morris head coach Paul Grove said. "But if we have to win it this way, than we will."

Thursday's game was a close-contest between two teams fighting for a spot in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Tournament as the game remained within single-digits during the entire 45 minutes of play.

With the game tied at 5-5 with 16:51 left in the opening half, Halverson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it a 11-5 contest for the Cougars at 14:55.

After 20 minutes of action, Crown College (12-8, 6-5 UMAC) held a 34-31 lead over Minnesota Morris (8-12, 5-6 UMAC).

The Cougars held their largest lead of the night at 55-46 as Nick Peterson made a jumper with 7:18 to go in the second half. The Storm would go on to outscore the Cougars, 17-8, to make it 63-63, as Josh Volness connected on a jumper with 42 seconds left.

Pendleton then stepped up for a clutch basket with 20 seconds remaining in regulation to give Morris a 65-63 lead. As time expired in regulation, Volness beat the buzzer and was able to force overtime with the score tied at 66-66.

During the extra frame, it was the Morris seniors that led the way, as Grove, Jeffrey Halverson and Jeremy Halverson scored eight of the 10 points for the Cougars.

The Cougars took a 68-66 lead on a basket from Pendleton with 3:38 to go, but Crown scored five straight points to make it 71-68. Minnesota Morris responded with back-to-back baskets from Jeffrey Halverson to put Morris up 72-71.

With just eight seconds to play, Jeremy Halverson's free throw put the Cougars up 76-74 and then Adam Lechelt's 3-pointer at the buzzer was no good to secure the victory for the Cougars.

Bethany Lutheran 86, UM-Morris 68

The University of Minnesota Morris men's basketball team dropped an 86-68 contest to the Bethany Lutheran College Vikings Saturday, Feb. 2, in Mankato. Noah Grove and James Pendleton led the Cougar offense with 15 points apiece, while Jeffrey Halverson chipped in 14 points.

The Vikings built an early double-digit lead as they opened the game an 14-3 run over the first 3:29 of play. The Cougars were able to cut the Viking lead to nine points four times, but the Vikings responded each time.

Bethany Lutheran held a 42-29 lead heading into halftime as Cire Mayfield made a jumper with seven seconds left in the opening half.

Just 11 seconds into the second half a 3-pointer from Grove made it 42-32 in favor of Bethany Lutheran, but Bethany Lutheran responded with back-to-back 3-pointers.

The Vikings outscored the Cougars by just five points in the second half, but had roughly a 20-point lead for the final eight minutes of regulation.

Minnesota Morris falls to 8-13 on the year and 5-7 in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) play, while Bethany Lutheran is now 16-6 overall and 11-2 in conference action.