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Coo Men Topple Concordia, Women Fall



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ST. PAUL, MN (February 23, 2013) – The University of Sioux Falls men's basketball team squeezed out a 73-66 victory at Concordia-St. Paul University Saturday night in the 2012-13 regular season finale. Ahead by as many as 24 points in the second half, USF allowed the Golden Bears to pull within four points of their lead with 30 seconds left on the clock. However when it came to crunch time, the Cougars were able to get a pair of key defensive stop and convert their free throws to seal the win.

The win secured a seventh place NSIC south finish for USF, who moved to 12-14, 8-14 in league play this season.

Seniors A.J. Holland and James Rader combined to score 31 for the Cougars tonight. Rader recorded his second double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Holland was nearly perfect on the game, missing his first shot in the final two minutes of the game. He finished 6-of-8 from the floor and 3-of-3 from downtown for a team-high 17 points and six boards.

The Cougars completely dominated the first half.

Scoring the game’s first 10 points allowed USF to claim a quick 10-0 lead at the 16:30 mark. USF would only add to their lead throughout the remainder of the half.

The epitome of a team effort, all nine cougars that saw action scored at least two points, as USF shot at an impressive 59 percent clip in the first half. Their hot shooting and balanced scoring resulted in a 45-29 halftime lead in the Cougars’ favor.


Specifically, Holland and Rader played a big part in USF’s first half success. Shooting 4-of-4 from the field, Holland was perfect in the opening half and led all scorers with 13 points. Rader’s numbers weren’t too shabby either. He entered the break with 10 points and seven rebounds.


USF continued to control the game through the initial five minutes of the second half, going ahead by as many as 24 points at the 15:53 mark. However, the Golden Bears, who have been known for their comebacks lately, weren’t done.

With 14 unanswered, the Golden Bears rallied to within six of the Cougars, 62-56, with 4:19 to play. In total, USF was held scoreless from the 9:57 mark until there was 4:01 left in the game. David Maxwell broke the Cougars’ drought with a timely post move to make it 64-56.


Despite Concordia’s valiant effort, USF would hold them off for just their second road win of the season.

Tonight marked the fifth time the Cougars shot sub-50 percent from the floor this season, and the fifth time they’ve won while accomplishing such a feat. USF also recorded single-digit turnovers (9) for the third time in four games.

USF’s bench, who has been a key piece of their equation all season long, topped Concordia’s reserves 24-13.

As the No. 7 seed, the Cougars will travel to Northern State University Wednesday, February 27 for the first round of the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament.

 

In the women's game, No. 24 Concordia-St. Paul (21-5, 19-3) used a 17-2 first half run and 22 Cougar turnovers to rough up USF in the NSIC regular season finale for both teams, 76-47.


The Cougars fall to 12-14 overall (9-13 NSIC). USF finishes the regular season under .500 for the first time since 2007-08, when the Cougars ended the year at 10-20. 


Senior Alyssa Rushton was the lone Cougar to finish in double digits, as she compiled 15 points and nine rebounds. Laura Johnson finished with six points and eight rebounds.


Golden Bear Anika Whiting led all scorers with 20 points and also hauled in nine rebounds.

The Golden Bears opened the game by hitting their first two shots and blitzed the Cougars with a 17-2 run before Chrissy Strassburg stopped the bleeding with a three at the 12-minute mark of the first half. 


Concordia-St. Paul carried a 43-25 advantage into halftime. The Golden Bears outscored USF 33-22 after the break and never allowed the Cougars to get back into the game, despite committing 15 turnovers.


The Golden Bears led by as many as 29 points in winning their thirteenth game in a row.


Concordia-St. Paul converted 22 Cougar turnovers into 12 points and combined that with three second-chance points.


The Golden Bears out-rebounded the Cougars 43-38 and made 43.3 percent of their shots (26-for-60). USF finished 16-for-61 from the floor (26.2%), 8-for-29 from long range (27.6%) and made 7-of-9 free throw attempts.


Concordia-St. Paul clinched the NSIC regular season and South Division championships outright, and will be the top seed in next week’s NSIC/Sanford Health Basketball Tournament. USF is the sixth seed in the NSIC South and will travel to MSU-Moorhead on Feb. 27 to face the Dragons in the tournament’s opening round.

-Courtesy USF Athletics
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