ST. PAUL, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris men’s basketball team lost its first road game of the 2021-22 season on Thursday night to Macalester College, 89-77. The Scots opened up a comfortable 13-point margin at halftime and grew the lead to 24 in the second half before the Cougars came back in the closing stages. The loss drops Minnesota Morris to 1-1 on the season.
The opening basket of the game from Ian Carlin gave UMN Morris a brief early lead, but Macalester answered on the other end with a three-pointer and then had the lead up to six, 13-7, with five minutes gone. A 6-0 run from the Cougars knotted the score at 13-13 as bucket from Will McBee and Kobe Jenson sandwiched a pair of free throws from James Pendleton.
The Scots looked to grab control after that, knocking down consecutive three-pointers that were answered by layups from Maverick Conn and Carlin to leave the score at 19-17. Badou Ba then had a three-point play and Coby Gold connected on another triple to give Macalester a 25-17 edge with 10 minutes gone.
Minnesota Morris had one last surge in it, going on a 10-0 run to turn a 29-21 deficit into a 31-29 lead. Three-balls from Dillon Haider started and ended the run, while McBee and Pal Dak scored layups in between. The Cougars went cold from there however, with Macalester ending the first half on an 18-3 run to take a 47-34 lead into halftime.
Macalester’s lead shrank to 11 twice in the opening two minutes of the second half before an 11-0 run pushed the Scots out to a 62-40 advantage. The bulge would grow to as much as 24 points with under 13 minutes left at 67-43. Haider did his best to keep the Cougars in it, hitting three three-pointers in a row midway through the second half to almost single-handedly account for an 11-0 surge from Minnesota Morris that got it back to a more manageable 13-point deficit, 70-57.
Though the Cougars kept it within striking range from there, the clock was working against them. The deficit got no smaller than 11 in the final minutes as Macalester was able to close it out to put the finishing touches on a 3-0 start to the season.
Haider led Minnesota Morris with 23 points, hitting all six of the Cougar three-pointers in the contest. Carlin finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. Pal Dak had 11 and McBee also reached double-figures with 10. Pendleton provided six assists off the bench.
Minnesota Morris returns home to Jim Gremmels Court on Saturday to host Nebraska Wesleyan University at 1 p.m.