MORRIS, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris men’s basketball team shot 67 percent from the field in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to make up an 18-point halftime deficit as the Cougars fell to Nebraska Wesleyan University, 104-92. UMN Morris falls to 1-2 on the season in defeat.
In their season opener, the Prairie Wolves roared to life in the opening seconds of the game, taking an 8-0 lead with just over a minute gone. Pal Dak converted a three-point play to get Minnesota Morris on the board and Jaret Johnson canned a triple moments later to cut it to a 10-6 game, but that would end up being the closest the Cougars would get all afternoon.
Another 8-0 run from Nebraska Wesleyan followed, extending out to an 18-6 advantage. Corbyn Alexander had a three-point play for the Cougars as the contest neared the eight-minute mark of the half, once again making it a four-point game at 26-22. That was answered by seven straight points from the Prairie Wolves and a surge going into the half from NWU made it 52-34.
In the first eight minutes after halftime, Nebraska Wesleyan was able to build its lead up to 25 points, 77-52. To the credit of the Cougars, the team never quit fighting and went into attack mode on the offensive end, picking up foul after foul on the Prairie Wolves and cashing in 15-of-18 from the charity stripe in the second half.
With under five minutes left, Nebraska Wesleyan held a 91-72 edge when Minnesota Morris went on an 11-2 run. Maverick Conn started it with a three-pointer, followed by layups from Koleman Lind and Jarrett Kujava. After a basket from NWU, Lind and Conn scored again to slice the deficit to 10, 93-83, with 2:18 to play. Though UMN Morris would cut it to 10 twice more before the game ended, the clock favored the visitors and they were able to hang on down the stretch.
Minnesota Morris is back home at Jim Gremmels Court on Nov. 16, hosting Oak Hills Christian College at 6:30 p.m.