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Mens Basketball: UM-Morris tops North Central (with video)

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Minnesota Morris senior, and Morris native, Noah Grove rises to the rim for a contested shot in UMAC men's basketball action against North Central Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Cougar Sports Center in Morris. Grove had a team-high 22 points in the Cougar win. Brooke Kern / Stevens County Times2 / 4
Minnesota Morris sophomore James Pendleton covers a loose ball in UMAC men's basketball action against North Central Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Cougar Sports Center in Morris. Pendleton dropped 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting in the win over the Rams. Brooke Kern / Stevens County Times3 / 4
Minnesota Morris senior Jeremy Halverson looks to pass out of a double-team in UMAC action against North Central Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Cougar Sports Center in Morris. Brooke Kern / Stevens County Times4 / 4

The University of Minnesota Morris men's basketball team kept its UMAC tournament hopes alive as it topped the North Central Rams, 76-62, Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Cougar Sports Center in Morris. The Cougars found success from 3-point range in second half to hold off the Rams.

"Our best defensive effort of the year," UMM head coach Paul Grove said. "We held a great offensive team to 62 points."

With the win, Minnesota Morris is now 9-14 on the year and 6-8 in conference play, while North Central falls to 5-18 overall and 0-14 in UMAC action.

North Central opened up the game on an 8-0 run over the first 3:16 of play. The Cougars then responded with a 20-4 run to make it 20-12 in favor of Minnesota Morris with 8:39 left in the first half. Heading into halftime, the Rams held a 34-29 lead over the Cougars.

After shooting 4-of-13 from 3-point range in the first half, the Cougars shot 9-of-21 from behind the arc in the second half. Minnesota Morris opened up the second half connecting on 3-of-4 shots from 3-point range.

Jack Martin gave the Rams a 52-51 lead on a jumper with 8:05 left in regulation. Following Martin's basket, James Pendleton and Noah Grove hit back-to-back 3-pointers to build the Cougar lead to five points (57-52) with 6:51 left to play.

Micah Filer brought the Rams within two points on a 3-pointer with 3:14 to go, but North Central wouldn't score again down the stretch.

The Cougars are back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Northwestern in St. Paul. Tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m.

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