The University of Sioux Falls dropped their fourth-straight Friday night, falling 82-74 to Upper Iowa University, who shot an unbelievable 71% in the second half to get back in the game and pull off their 14th win of the season. Derek Brown and Robert Goffney led the Cougars in scoring with 20 points each. It was the first time USF had finished with two players with 20 points and a career-best for Goffney.
With the loss, USF moves to 7-11 overall, 3-11 in conference play. UIU improved to 14-6 and 10-4 against NSIC competition.
For the second-consecutive game, USF held a lead going into the half. Tonight, their first half play was a credit to the backcourt, which accounted for 28 of the Cougars 32 points in the first half.
Brown paced USF with three-consecutive 3-point makes, the third giving the Cougars a 9-4 lead. The Peacocks answered, and claimed their first lead of the night at the11:33 mark of the first half, but they wouldn’t keep it long as Jerry Dixon and Goffney would heat up.
Dixon’s shot from 3-point range with 8:22 to play sparked a 9-2 Cougar run and gave USF their second lead, 21-20 with 6:02 to play. Goffney did the rest of the work, tallying 10 of his 11 first half points in the final eight minutes of the half, as USF carried a four point lead into intermission.
Reminiscent of Friday night, the second half belonged to the visiting team. Midway through the final period, UIU had connected on 10 of their first 14 shots to outscore USF 31-14 and own a, 59-48, margin with 9:36 to play.
USF fought back, and trimmed their deficit to four and six points between 8:11 and 4:31 to play, but that is as close as they would come Friday night.
UIU’s impressive second half percentage was a result of their dominance in the paint, where they outscored USF 26-10 in the final period, 46-14 for the game.
The Cougars were also beat in the rebounding category, where the Peacocks claimed 33 to 26 for USF.
USF had their best shooting night at the line this season, converting 25-of-28 attempts (89.3%).
UIU finished with four players in double digits. Sam Elgin and Tucker Wentzien posted 17 points each, while Kierre Ojbonna and Jake Hughes added 13 and 10, respectively.
In addition to Brown and Goffney, James Rader also finished in double figures. He scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting, while grabbing a team-high five rebounds.
Up next, USF heads to Minnesota next weekend to take on Minnesota, Crookston and Bemidji State.
Courtesy: Dennis Gamble, Sports Information, USF