SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KWSN) – The University of Sioux Falls men’s basketball team defeated Southwest Minnesota State, 87-83, in overtime on Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Stewart Center in Sioux Falls. The Cougars let a 13-point second half lead slip away in regulation, as the Mustangs forced overtime and at one point led by two in the overtime, before USF rallied for its first overtime victory since defeating Dakota Wesleyan, 94-89, on Feb. 2, 2011.
USF (4-1, 1-0 NSIC) had five players in double figures, paced by sophomore Jordan Stotts’ 17 points, which is a new career-best. Senior guard Robert Goffney added 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting, while Derek Brown and Charles Ward scored 13 points apiece. Junior center Bryan Kielpinski added 10 points off the bench.
SMSU’s Shaun Condon led all scorers with 19 points (6-for-11 from the floor, 4-for-5 on free throws).
The Cougars led 55-42 after Goffney knocked down a three-pointer with 12:40 to play, but SMSU (2-4, 0-1 NSIC) shot 60-percent from the floor in the second half to force overtime. Ward missed a layup in traffic and SMSU’s William Giddings saw his half-court heave fall short in the final seconds of regulation. However, Ward went 7-for-8 from the charity stripe in overtime to help the Cougars improve to 2-1 against SMSU since joining the NSIC last season.
Trailing 85-83 after Ward hit one of two free throws, SMSU had two chances to win or tie but Condon missed an open 3 from the wing and Matt Zager's jumper to tie also missed following an offensive board. Cougar freshman Mack Johnson came away with the loose ball and Robert Goffney hit two free throws with 4.3 seconds left to put it away.
The Mustangs stormed back from a 14-9 deficit midway through the opening half to take a 33-31 lead at halftime. Brown scored a team-high eight points in the half, including a pair of three-pointers, while Stotts had seven and Mahlon Jones tallied five points off the bench. SMSU outrebounded USF, 17-13, and the Cougars converted seven SMSU miscues into seven points.
USF’s halftime deficit was due in part to SMSU getting two points on a technical foul for Kielpinski not being written into the official scorebook before the game.
Out of the break, the Cougars leveled things at 33-all with a Stotts slam and started to pull away early in the second thanks to five more Mustang attack miscues, turnover, but complacency on the part of USF and sturdier defense from the Mustangs quickly tightened the gap. A three-minute drought for the Cougars allowed SMSU to get within three at 55-52 with just under 10 minutes left, and though USF pushed the lead back to nine two minutes later, the Mustangs tied it at 68 with 4:27 left on the clock. Both teams held serve the rest of the half, splitting the final 12 points to send the game to overtime.
USF shot 50.8% from the floor and tallied 15 assists on 30 field goals. The Cougars were out-rebounded 36-29 while the Mustang reserves edged their Cougar counterparts, 29-27.
The Cougars will wrap their five-game homestand next weekend when they host Wayne State College and rival Augustana College.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls