Guebert Leads Coo To Big Win Over Minot

USF Victorious 80-59

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Led by 25 points and six rebounds from Drew Guebert and a double double of 10 points and 13 rebounds from Teathloach Pal, the University of Sioux Falls Men’s Basketball Team (16-8, 11-7 NSIC) recorded its third consecutive victory with an 80-59 decision over Minot State (17-7, 11-7 NSIC) on Alumni Day Saturday at the Stewart Center.

With the victory, the Cougars improved to 11-7 in the NSIC South and moved into a tie for third place with Winona State. USF, which improved its all-time series mark to 9-2 over Minot State, is 16-8 overall with four games to play in the regular season.

As things stand, USF would host a first round game in the NSIC Postseason Tournament. Immediately ahead for USF is a pair of road games, including a city rivalry matchup against Augustana on Friday, Feb. 9 at the Sioux Falls Arena. USF travels to Wayne State on Saturday, Feb. 10.

“I was very proud of this team tonight,” USF Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Johnson told Cougars’ play-by-play announcer Tom Frederick in a post-game interview. “Sure, we have some things to clean up like our turnovers but this team – and I mean everyone on it – played exceptionally hard all night. They beat a very good basketball team,” added Johnson, who recorded 172nd career victory at USF.

Leading the way for USF was Guebert, who hit 8-of-16 shots from the field, including 5-of-10 from three-point range. He added six rebounds, and an assist in 36 minutes. A junior from Apple Valley, Minn., had his second consecutive game of 25 points or more after tallying 26 against U-Mary in a 75-66 win on Friday at home.

With his total tonight, Guebert, who has 61 career double digit games and 23, 20-point games, has 1,289 career points as he moved up to 14th place on USF’s all-time chart, passing Paul Johnson (1,272 points, 1989-93), and Roy DeBoer (1,282 points, 1960-63). He is just one point from tying another all-time great Adam Burnison, who had 1,290 points from 2000-03. With his five three-pointers, Guebert moved into third all-time at USF in made three-pointers with 190, passing Chad Bendt (1991-95), who had 186.

Pal, a redshirt freshman from Fridley, Minn., had his second career double double as he had a game-high 13 rebounds and 10 points while blocking a shot. He was also part of a second-half dunk party in which USF had flushes from Justin Taylor and three from Pal, three of them off assists from Trevon Evans, who had nine points, six assists and three rebounds. Two other players reached double digits for USF, including freshman guard Drew Maschoff with 11 points and three assists and senior guard Zach Wessels with 10 points, two rebounds and two assists. Wessels had his 22nd career double digit scoring game.

Game Breakdown

In a game, USF led from start to finish, USF opened up 13-point lead in the first half when Guebert knocked down a three at the 5:42 mark. The Beavers, which were led by Tyler Rudolph with 19 points and six rebounds, bounced back and cut the lead to 35-32 at halftime.

After the Beavers cut the USF lead to 37-36 with 18:17 to play, the Cougars turned up their game. Over the next 10 minutes, USF, which shot a blistering 65.2 percent (15-of-23) in the second half, had a 23-to-9 run and built a 60-45 advantage. It was during that burst that Evans found Pal and Taylor for the dunks, including one at the 9:25 mark in which he let a pass sail from near half-court to Pal who rose up from the left side of the floor to put the ball down and bring the crowd to its feet.

From that point, the Beavers were able to cut the deficit to 11 at 66-55 with 5:14 to play in the game.  Maschoff answered with five straight points, including a three, while Guebert made a pair of free throws for a 76-57 lead. Then Evans converted a lay-up and Pal had his third dunk for an 80-57 lead with 1:52 to play.

“We came into the weekend realizing that we needed to win a pair of game with two road matchups ahead,” said Johnson. “These guys really stepped it up tonight. From Drew to Tessy (Pal) to Trevon, Drew (Maschoff), Zach Wessels and Aaron (Rothermund) as well as so many others, it was a total team effort,” he said.

Cougars light it up from the field

For the fourth time in seven games, the Cougars shot over 50 percent for the game. USF, which had an 18-7 edge in second chance points and 14-to-2 margin in points off turnovers, knocked down 27-of-51 field goals for 52.9 percent. The Cougars also hit 12-of-21 from three-point range for 57.1 percent. It was the sixth time USF had double digit 3-pointers this season and the Cougars are 4-2 in those games.

As Johnson noted in his post-game locker room talk with his team, the Cougars shared the basketball with 18 assists on 27 made shots. And, for the second straight night, USF, the league’s top rebounding unit, had a dominating presence on the boards, owning a 39-to-22 advantage.

The Beavers, who had a 36-to-24 point advantage in the paint, were 23-of-53 from the floor for 43.4 percent, including 4-of-13 from three-point range. Aside from Rudolph, David Akibo had 13 points as did Nathaniel Moore.
-Recap Courtesy USF Athletics

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