(Photo: Jay Pickthorn / Argus Leader)They trailed by as much as 13 in the second half, battled back again and again and found themselves with a chance to win or tie in the final seconds after a flurry of Cougar 3s and missed Maverick free throws.
The Cougars didn't let that sink them, however, as they stayed toe to toe Adidas Sl Loop Moc Mesa Ebay with MSU out of the locker room, then began chipping away at the lead near the midpoint of the half. They got within 76 75 with just Adidas Originals Tech Super 2.0 Shoes - White/White
MINNESOTA ST. (24 4, 18 3 NSIC)
After USF's Jordan Stotts hit a long 3 to cut the MSU lead to one with 11 seconds left, the Mavs' Tanner Adler a 91 percent free throw shooter missed the second of two. Charles Ward grabbed the rebound with seven seconds to go and raced coast to coast for the game tying layup.
Though the teams were back and forth for much of the first half, the Mavs took momentum and a 10 point lead into the break with a late flurry that was punctuated by a halfcourt buzzer beater from Monaghan.
Ward had a game high 28 points for the Cougars (16 11, 11 10), who turned the ball over just three times but were outrebounded 41 22. Derek Brown added 24, as Adidas Tech Super 2.0 Price
Margenthaler admitted that the ease with which his team defeated USF last time was a factor, though he and his staff had spent the week trying to avoid a letdown.
Jordan Stotts 2 7 0 0 6, Bryan Kielpinski 1 4 0 2 2, Mack Johnson 1 6 0 0 3, Charles Ward 6 11 15 17 28, Mahlon Jones 4 5 4 6 12, Alex Robey 0 1 0 0 0, Derek Brown 6 13 8 9 24, Robert Goffney 5 6 0 0 12, Preston Rayburn 3 5 2 2 10, Cutler Finneman 2 2 0 0 4. Totals 30 60 29 36 101.
Halftime MSU 55 45. 3 pointers MSU 8 19 (O'Brien 0 1, Monaghan 3 5, Adler 4 7, Wooten 0 3, Hanks 0 1, Romashko 1 2), USF 12 30 (Stotts 2 5, Johnson 1 4, Ward 1 2, Jones 0 1, Robey 0 1, Brown 4 10, Goffney 2 3, Rayburn 2 4). Total fouls MSU 24, USF 28. Fouled out Hanks, Kielpinski, Jones, Rayburn. Technicals Wooten, Ward. Rebounds MSU 41 (Marei 13), USF 22 (Ward 6). Assists MSU 12 (Monaghan 9), USF 15 (Goffney 6). Steals MSU 1 (O'Brien), USF 7 (Stotts, Goffney 2). Blocked shots MSU 2, USF 2 (Kielpinski, Goffney). Turnovers MSU 12, USF 3. A 852.
The Mavs might have been expecting Ward to go for Adidas Sl Loop Runner Moc Uk
the game winning 3, because no one got in front of him. But his layup just before the buzzer didn't fall, allowing the Mavericks to escape with the 103 101 win at the Stewart Center.
Cougar rally falls short on missed layup at buzzer
"Our guys are hurting," Johnson said. "Just because they knew what was at stake, and they remember how bad they beat us last time."
That was one of a handful (at least) of seemingly comfortable leads the Mavs couldn't hold.
When the teams met two weeks ago in Mankato, the Mavericks (24 4, 18 3 NSIC) won by a 109 64 count. That made it hard for Cougar coach Chris Johnson to be too disappointed, but the loss dealt a big blow to the Cougars' chances of being at home for the first round of the NSIC tournament.
"We told them all week long, this was a team that was 10 2 at home and has beaten some of the best teams in the league," Margenthaler said. "And we still took them for granted."
"We got fortunate some of their best shooters boned a bunch of free throws at the end," Johnson said. "And we had five or six possessions that I thought we took off defensively that hurt us. But our guys competed and didn't back down from what I think is the most talented team in our league. We just have to shake it off and bounce back (Saturday against Concordia), because we have to get a win."
"He had a great look and as well as he played all night I figured we were heading to OT," said a relieved MSU coach Matt Margenthaler. "Give credit to Sioux Falls, they did a much better job down the stretch of executing what they wanted to do. They were the better team tonight. They deserved a better finish than what they got."
SIOUX FALLS (16 11, 11 10 NSIC)
under eight minutes to play and after a stop had a chance to take the lead, but the Mavericks pushed the lead back to 10 at 88 78 with 4:44 to play.
But the Mavs were simply too strong inside. Connor O'Brien had a career high 27 points on 10 of 12 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds, and Assem Marei had 21 points and 13 boards. Zach Monaghan added 21 points and nine assists.
USF Charles Ward (right) goes up for a shot while Minnesota State's Zach Monaghan defends during Friday's game in Sioux Falls. Ward scored a game high 28 points.
the Cougar bench outscored MSU's 50 8. Rob Goffney had 12 points and six assists.
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