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Cougars Fall To Winona State 76-71 In OT

 

Bill Freeman, University of Sioux Falls Cougars
University of Sioux Falls

WINONA, MN — The University of Sioux Falls suffered a 76-71 overtime loss at Winona State University Saturday night at McCown Gymnasium.

Derek Brown, who posted a game-high 17 points, gave the Cougars a four point lead with 2:25 left in regulation, but the Warriors countered to force an extra period, where WSU capitalized on a few costly mistakes by USF to secure their 11th win of the season.

The Cougars (5-6) fall to 1-6 in NSIC play, while WSU (11-3) improves to 5-2 against conference competition this season.

Trailing by seven early in the second half, USF turned things around. A.J. Holland made a big 3-pointer near the 13:00 mark to cap a 10-2 scoring run and give the Cougars their first lead of the game since the 18:02 in the first half.

WSU answered with an 8-0 run of their own. With 6:14 to play, USF found themselves once again trailing by seven points. However, again they responded. Behind Brown, the Cougars pieced together an impressive 12-2 run to claim their largest lead, 64-60, with 2:35 remaining in the game.

The Warriors tied it up at 64-64 with 1:24 to go when Kellen Taylor’s sank his third 3-pointer of the game. His basket was the final of regulation, as the game headed into overtime.

USF and WSU traded baskets, but the Warriors held the Cougars scoreless during the final two minutes of overtime and cashed in at the line to hold on for a victory.

Both teams shot the ball well in the first half, where USF converted 50% of their attempts and WSU hit at a 62% clip. After trailing by as many as nine points with 14:42 to play in the first half, the Cougars battled back to within one point of the Warriors on three separate occasions and eventually knotted the game up with 2:14 left in the opening period. However, USF would face a 40-36 deficit at the break.

The Cougars, who average six 3-point makes a game, recorded six treys in the first half alone, most of which came from first-year player Bill Freeman. Freeman went 4-of-5 and 3-of-3 from behind the arc in the first half to lead all USF players with 11 points.

Both teams utilized a balanced scoring attack, finishing with four-plus players in double-digits.

For WSU, Kellen Taylor and Cameron Taylor led the Warriors with 15 points, while Clayton Vette and Jordan Fischer added 14 points each. Xavier Humphrey scored 10 points for WSU tonight.

Brown, Holland, James Rader and Freeman each finished in double-digits. Brown went 3-of-6 from behind the arc, but he also got it done on defense. He led the squad with three steals. Rader tallied 13 points, while Freeman and Holland chipped in 11 points and 10 points, respectively.

USF host Minnesota-Duluth and No. 19 St. Cloud State January 11 and 12.

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Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls

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