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USF Comes Up Short At Bemidji State

 

James Rader, University of Sioux Falls Cougars
University of Sioux Falls

BEMIDJI, MN — Trailing by three points with 11 seconds to play, the University of Sioux Falls came up short on two decent looks from behind the arc to suffer a heart-breaking 72-69 loss Saturday night at Bemidji State University. A game of runs, both teams played tough down the stretch, but BSU converted free throws when it counted to maintain their lead and pick up their second-straight win.

Derek Brown, A.J. Holland and James Rader each played exceptional for the Cougars in the second half, where they combined for 29 of USF’s 42 points. Brown was fearless, as he nailed two huge 3-pointers with under three minutes to play. In fact, eight of his 17 points came in the final three minutes of the game.

Holland and Rader also made big shots late. Rader led USF with 19 points and eight rebounds. He went 9-of-11 at the stripe. Holland scored all 10 of his points in the second half.

USF falls to 8-12 overall and 4-12 in NSIC play.

USF quickly established a four-point lead to begin the game, but then went cold and the opposing sideline heated up. A BSU 8-2 run over 2:54 early in the first half made it 10-6, Beavers at the 15:14 mark.

Over the next several minutes, the Cougars countered to pull within one point of the home team, but back-to-back three pointers by Mason Walters gave BSU a 20-13 advantage near the half-way point of the opening period.

Walters, who had 11 points in the first half, would continue to knock down long range shots and help the Beavers to an 11-point cushion at the 6:32 mark, but USF closed out the half with a 7-2 run capped by a timely Derek Brown 3-pointer just before the break. The Cougars headed to intermission trailing 32-27.

USF’s first half offensive struggles were a result of 41% shooting and BSU’s ability to alter the Cougars’ shots. They blocked five USF shots before intermission.

USF looked like a different team in the second half. They got back in the game with solid defense, drawing several charges, and effective rebounding on both ends of the court.

Sparked by a pair of David Maxwell baskets, the Cougars turned in a 9-0 run to go on top 41-39 at the 14:43 mark of the second half. It was the Cougars’ first lead since 18:46 of the first half.

After being held scoreless through 29 minutes of play, Bryan Kielpinski made his stamp on the game. He took a crafty pass from Brown and flushed it home with a big-time dunk to give USF their largest lead, 47-41, with 10:50 to play.

The next several minutes BSU took control of the game. Behind a clutch Jermaine Crockwell effort, BSU applied a 19-6 run to regain their lead and establish a comfortable seven point lead with 5:32 left on the clock.

USF refused to go away, pulling within one point of BSU on four separate occasions in the final 3:11. Following a key Brown 3-pointer, the Cougars actually held a lead at the 1:57 mark. His basket put the Cougars in front 64-63, but USF would play catch up the rest of the way and simply run out of time.

The Cougars won the battle on the glass, 34-27, and shot a higher percentage from the field, as they finished 50 percent tonight.

Maybe USF’s most impressive stat was their number of charges taken. They drew five offensive fouls, four in the second half.

USF will look to bounce back next Friday, February 8 when they host Minot State University.

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Courtesy:  University of Sioux Falls

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