Cougars win men's basketball championship
The University of Minnesota, Morris men's basketball team is the 2010 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference tournament champion. The Cougars defeated St. Scholastica 83-49 Saturday at the P.E. Center to claim the post-season trophy.
The Cougars and Saints had split games this season and Scholastica was coming off an upset, having toppled No. 1 seed Northwestern on the road in the UMAC semifinals.
Senior Kendall Proell, who was named the tournament MVP, led the Cougars with 17 points, along with five boards and five assists.
Phil Allen contributed 15 points. Eric Dalbey scored 14, including a three at the first-half buzzer that gave UMM a 50-24 halftime lead.
Derek Schmidt had six rebounds to lead the Cougars.
Proell knocked down back-to-back-to-back three pointers, while Allen added points inside, during a 34-11 run that gave the Cougars an early lead.
Dalbey and Proell were a combined 8-for-8 on three pointers in the first half. As a team, the Cougars shot 68 percent from the field and 89 percent on threes before the break.
On defense, head coach Paul Grove moved his team into various presses to keep the Saints guards off balance and working for open shots.
The Saints, led by all-UMAC players Danny Schmitz and Brett Tester, tried to rally in the second half, but the shots would not fall from outside as they made just one three-point field goal for the game.
The Cougars won the inside battle, pulling down 32 rebounds to Scholastica's 16.
UMM, who was a pre-season No. 1 pick in the UMAC, finished the year with a 15-12 record. The Saints fell to 11-17.
Next season, the UMAC will have an automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament, meaning that the post-season tournament winner will advance to March Madness.