North Central won a tale of two halves on Friday night, coming back from a 16-point halftime deficit.
MORRIS, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris men’s basketball team rolled out to a big halftime lead on Friday night against North Central University, but the Rams came back with lights-out shooting in the second half to register a 95-82 win over the Cougars in the UMAC opener for both teams. UMN Morris drops to 4-7 (0-1 UMAC) with the loss.
After a back-and-forth opening few minutes of the game, Minnesota Morris pulled ahead with an 8-0 run that featured five points from Noah Kannegiesser to take a 17-12 lead on North Central. Later in the half, the Cougars added a 9-0 run that pushed their lead to double-digits at 28-17 with just over eight minutes elapsed in the first half.
North Central tried to keep things close, but Minnesota Morris was rolling offensively in the first 20 minutes, knocking down six three-pointers and shooting nearly 55 percent from the floor. Will McBee and Tath Dak had finishes at the rim in the final minute to give the Cougars a 52-36 halftime edge.
Whatever was said in the halftime team talk woke up North Central to start the second half. The Rams opened with a 9-2 run to bring the deficit back to single-digits, 54-45. Though Minnesota Morris hadn’t seen its offense totally dry up, NCU was scoring nearly every time down the floor and soon brought the score level at 65-65 with still more than 11 minutes remaining.
A Kannegiesser triple from the top of the key knotted the score at 78-78 with just under six minutes left, but North Central came back with a 6-0 run as part of a 17-4 game-ending finish to the contest.
Five players finished in double-figures for the Cougars on the night. McBee came off the bench to lead the team in both points and rebounds with 14 and seven. Pal Dak, Dillon Haider, and Ian Carlin all finished with 13 points. Kannegiesser added 12.
Minnesota Morris closes out the weekend with a home game tomorrow afternoon, hosting the University of Northwestern at 4:45 p.m. at Jim Gremmels Court.
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