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Cody Emrick protects the ball as he takes a look inside against Valley City State Friday, Dec. 20. For more action photos of the game, please check out the next issue (Saturday, Dec. 28) of the Morris Sun Tribune. (Brooke Kern/Sun Tribune)

Cougar men can't escape with the win

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sports Morris, 56267
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

UMM Sports Information

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The University of Minnesota, Morris men's basketball team was unable to complete another late game comeback as they fell 68-67 to Valley City State on Friday, Dec. 20.

Evan Reller had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Brendon Foss and Cody Emrick had 13 points each.

Valley City took advantage of the paint outscoring the Cougars 36-24.

Minnesota Morris jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the opening six minutes of play. Valley City was able to cut the lead to one at 14-13 with 10:50 left in the first half. The game was back and forth for the next five minutes and the lead changed hands on a couple occasions. With just over five minutes left in the half, UMM held a 31-29 lead. The Cougars outscored the Vikings 12-7 in the final five minutes of play to take a seven points lead into the halftime break.

Reller had ten points and six rebounds in the first half on 4-6 shooting. RJ Dean and Foss each added eight points. Morris shot 16-32 as a team and 4-10 from the three.

Valley City State was 14-32 from the field and 3-10 from three in the first half.

The Cougars also added 7-8 from the line in the first 20 minutes.

The Cougars built up a 10 point lead out of the break, but the Vikings roared back to tie at 52 thanks to a 10-0 run midway through the second half. A free throw by Reller ended the Vikings run and then Emrick hit a jumper on the wing to give UMM the 55-52 lead with 7:20 left. VCSU came back with a 8-2 run, taking a 60-57 lead, but the lead was erased with a three by Foss with 5:20 left to knot the game up once more.

The Vikings had six quick points and took a 66-60 lead, but Morris came back and had a chance to tie the game with under 45 seconds left but the free throw hit off the back iron. A last chance three pointer from half court hit off the backboard as the Vikings escaped with the 68-67 win.

The Cougars will meet up with Valley City State, again, on January 4 in Valley City for their first game of the new year.

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