MORRIS, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris men’s basketball team was dominant down low and also hit more than 50 percent of its shots beyond the arc in a 116-78 pasting of Oak Hills Christian College on Tuesday night. The win moves the Cougars to 2-2 on the season.
Minnesota Morris was unstoppable in the low post and paint in the game, finishing with a 60-21 rebounding advantage on Oak Hills, as well as a 64-12 edge in points in the paint. The Cougars also put the Wolfpack into foul trouble with their offensive aggressiveness, fouling out a pair of Oak Hills starters early in the second half.
Though the game would end up as a blowout for UMN Morris, Oak Hills actually scored the first five points of the night and took its largest lead at 11-5 with a little over three minutes gone in the contest. Seeing his first action of the season, KJ Riley stepped onto the floor and buried a three to trim the Wolfpack lead in half.
The Cougars would eventually come back to lead, but it took until nearly 14 minutes were gone for Minnesota Morris to take the lead for good. With the score tied at 26-26, Tath Dak scored on a drive to the basket to start a 10-2 run that was capped by a three-pointer from Dillon Haider to make it 36-28. Haider then added another three-pointer and a layup to give the Cougars their first double-digit lead at 41-31. The lead grew to 15 points before a late three-pointer from Oak Hills brought the visitors back to within 12, 50-38, at the break.
The second half opened with a 15-0 blitz from Minnesota Morris to essentially put the game away in the first three minutes after the intermission. Haider knocked down consecutive three-pointers in that stretch, while Will McBee had a tip-in layup for a three-point play and then added another tip-in layup later on.
Another big run for the Cougars later in the second half was punctuated by an emphatic slam from Tath Dak to up the Minnesota Morris lead to 81-46. Maverick Conn added a dunk with under five minutes left to give the Cougars a 98-60 advantage and Minnesota Morris hit the century mark just a few moments later on a Jarrett Kujava triple. The lead peaked at 42 points a few moments later before the Wolfpack closed the gap slightly by the end.
Haider finished with a game-high 25 points, shooting 7-of-10 from beyond the arc. McBee ended with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Conn came off the bench for 12 points and 11 boards. Tath Dak also ended with 12 points and chipped in seven rebounds and six assists. Kobe Jenson came on late in the game and needed just seven minutes of action to score 13 points.
Minnesota Morris will return the trip to Oak Hills Christian on Thursday, meeting the Wolfpack in Bemidji starting at 6:30 p.m.