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Cougars drop fourth straight at SMSU, 63-51

USF Cougars
USF Cougars

MARSHALL, MINN. (KWSN) – Behind three players in double-figures and a game-high 14 points from Shaun Condon, Southwest Minnesota State (7-5, 4-2 NSIC) raced past the University of Sioux Falls men’s basketball team on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 985 by a count of 63-51 at the R/A Facility in Marshall, Minn.



Jordan Stotts and Cutler Finneman led the Cougars (5-5, 2-4 NSIC) with nine points each. Derek Brown and Bryan Kielpinski added seven points on the night.


The Cougars never led in the contest.


The Mustangs galloped to a quick 8-0 lead to force a USF timeout before Kielpinski put the Cougars on the board with a close range bucket. SMSU kept rolling and stretched its lead to 25-6 with less than ten minutes to play but the visiting Cougars responded with a 9-0 spurt capped by a pair of Brown free throws to trim the deficit to 25-15. The Mustangs retaliated with three straight paint buckets and would double up the Cougars 32-16 before Brown and Finneman each drained 3-pointers to cut the SMSU lead to 34-22 at halftime.


The sides traded buckets to open the second half before Mustang Matt Zager hit one of seven (7-13) threes that the Mustangs collected on the night. SMSU quickly went up by 20 from the stripe at 46-26 and the rest of the half proceeded in SMSU’s favor, as the Mustangs sank over 57 percent of their shots from the floor, while the chilly Cougars went just 10-for-26 (38.5%) in the frame.  


Perhaps the most telling aspect of the game – was that the Cougars, who averaged more than 26 trips to the line entering the night, shot 15-for-19 from the charity stripe. Senior Rob Goffney and junior Mahlon Jones both went 4-for-4 at the line.


The teams combined for 28 turnovers.


Though USF’s offense ran more smoothly as the game progressed, as they improved their shooting clip from 28 percent to 38 percent, the Cougars were constantly on their heels as the Mustangs continued to rain down 3-pointers. They ended the night shooting 7-of-13 (.528) from behind the arc. In contrast, USF, which entered the game ranked second in the NSIC in three-balls per game, finished just 4-for-18 (.222) from deep. The Cougars were outrebounded, 32-28, and were edged in both steals (8-5) and blocks (4-3).


USF’s bench was outscored by its Mustang counterparts, 24-21.


Stotts also tied SMSU’s Mitch Weg for game-high honors with seven rebounds. Jones added five board to his six points off the bench.


USF is off for holiday break but will return to action the weekend of Jan. 3-4, when the Cougars will host MSU-Moorhead and Northern State. 

Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls