*** Courtesy NSIC

BURNSVILLE, MINN. -- Mack Johnson of the University of Sioux Falls men's basketball team, who ranks sixth in the nation in free throw shooting, has been named to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate All-Conference first team according to an announcement by the league on Thursday. Johnson becomes the first USF men's basketball player named to the All-NSIC first team and the second consecutive (Charles Ward, 2nd team) Cougars’ player selected all-league.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Mack (Johnson), who is the leader of our team,” said USF head men’s basketball coach Chris Johnson. “He has really stepped up this year, taking charge in games and helping us to the most successful year in the DII era,” added Johnson.

To that point, Johnson had 28 points, including six straight free throws in the final minute, as the Cougars advanced to the NSIC Men’s Basketball Quarterfinals with a 80-74 win on the road at Minnesota-Duluth on Wednesday night. The victory pushed USF to a program, D2-best 17 wins. Led by Johnson, the Cougars also advanced in the tournament for the first time. In addition, USF had 11 wins in league play, more than twice as many as a year ago.

Johnson, who is an exercise science major, leads the NSIC in free throw shooting (93-of-103). In league play, he is averaging 18.2 ppg and has hit 70-of-76 free throws for 92.1 percent. He has also hit 71 three-pointers for 2.4 a game, which is third in the league. In addition, Johnson has been a key player for USF down the stretch with 20 points or more seven times in the past nine games when USF has gone 6-3.

“What you find really impressive about Mack is his work ethic both in the classroom and on the floor. I am impressed by how he has become a better player every year he has been in the program. Plus, he serves a president of SAAC and continually shows leadership on this campus,” added Johnson.

With 510 points this season, Johnson has the most points in a season by a USF player in DII history. In addition, he has 1,179 career points, which places him 18th on USF’s all-time scoring chart.  Johnson has hit double digits in 26-of-29 games this season, which gives him 56 for his career.

During his career, he as three career 30-point games (30, 35, 39) and 16, 20-point outings, including nine times in 2015-16.  Twenty-three times, he has led USF in scoring during his two plus seasons as a starter. He also ranks fourth all-time at USF in made three-pointers with 181 on 459 attempts for 39.4%.  This year, he has 12 games with at least three, three-point field goals and 18 with two or more.  Johnson has had 76 games with at least one three and 44 games of two or more treys.  In addition, he has 26 games or three or more three-pointers, including a career-best 7  three times (Concordia St. Paul on Feb. 7, 2014 ; vs. Minnesota-Duluth on Jan. 29, 2016; and Minnesota State on Feb. 19)   Also he has nine games with at least five three pointers.

On Dec. 4-5, Johnson totaled 67 points, including a career-best 39 points against Upper Iowa, to earn NSIC Player of the Week honors. Johnson received the NSIC honor for the first time after putting together his best two-game total in his career.  With 39 points, Johnson scored the most points by a Cougars’ player since Stacy Kooistra had 41 against Colorado Christian in the 1992-93 season.

Johnson and the USF men's basketball continue their postseason run on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Sanford Pentagon, where they face Augustana at 5:30 p.m. in the NSIC Tournament quarterfinal round.



See Also: