Trailing by three with 1:45 left in the game, Robert Goffney and Keaton Moffitt drained back-to-back three pointers to lift the University of Sioux Falls to a 67-64 victory over Waldorf College Tuesday night in Sioux Falls, S.D. It took a team effort from the Cougars, who finished with all five starters in double-figures.
Offensively, Waldorf played extremely well. The Warriors shot 57% from the field and maybe more impressive, 75% (9-12) from beyond the arc, while USF connected on 41% of their field goal attempts and only 29% of their shots from deep.
USF improved to 3-0, while Waldorf remained 1-5. Tonight’s game was an exhibition for the visiting team.
The Warriors opened the game with three consecutive 3-pointers to take an early six-point lead. Their hot shooting from 3-point territory continued, but it didn’t rattle the Cougars.
USF ended the half on a 16-4 run to own a 35-29 advantage at intermission. In total, the first half featured nine lead changes and four ties, both in USF’s favor.
At the start of the second period, the Cougars appeared to be running away with it. Following a swipe and score by Goffney, USF found itself with an 11-point lead, their largest of the game.
Near the 14:00 mark, A.J. Holland’s 3-pointer once again gave USF a double-digit lead. They took a comfortable 47-36 lead.
But the visiting team was not ready to give up. Over the next seven minutes, Waldorf chipped away at the Cougars’ lead, recording an 18-6 scoring run to claim a 54-53 lead with 7:38 to play. It was their first lead since the 2:51 mark of the first half.
David Maxwell’s jumper with 6:14 left helped USF reclaim the lead, but it was quickly taken away. An Erik Brewer 3-pointer and nifty layup by Mitch Burrell put Waldorf ahead three points with 3:28 on the clock.
James Rader converted a big left-hand layup to pull USF within one, but the visiting team answered with a quick two to keep a three-point cushion with 1:43 to play.
Goffney and Moffitt put the team on their backs at that point. Their back-to-back jacks and a Rader free throw sealed three-point win for the Cougars at home.
Across the board, the two squads were fairly close in most statistical categories, but two differences stood out.
The Cougars forced 20 Warrior turnovers, nine in the second period, which attributed to 11 of USF’s 32 second half points.
The other, the team’s scoring distribution. USF had five players with 10 or more points, while just two players finished with 10-plus for Waldorf.
Waldorf’s Kwamaine Johnson poured in a game-high 17 points and eight rebounds, which also led all players. He went 4-of-5 from the floor and 2-of-2 from behind the arc. He also converted 7-of-9 free throw attempts. Erik Brewer added 15 points for the Warriors, recording a game-high three 3-pointers on the night.
David Maxwell led the way for USF. He posted 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Moffitt chipped in 12 points, while Goffney had 11. A.J. Holland and Rader added 10 points each for the Cougars.
Up next, USF host Dakota State Saturday at the Stewart Center.