Cartwright’s 31 not enough as USF Men fall to Upper Iowa


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (USF) – The University of Sioux Falls Men’s Basketball Team, which had a game-high 31 points from Matt Cartwright, lost a shootout with Upper Iowa, 86-79, in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division play on Friday night at the Stewart Center.

While a winter storm bristled outside, both USF and Upper Iowa put on an offensive show in the second half with a combined 103 points. USF, which trailed, 36-26, at the break, outscored the Peacocks, 53-50, over the final 20 minutes but just came up short. USF opened the second half on a 26-to-16 run to draw even with the Peacocks at 50-50 (10:44) but couldn’t sustain the run as UIU closed on a 36-29 advantage.

Cartwright, a senior from Sioux Falls, S.D., had 31 points for his second straight game of 30 points or better. Cartwright, who leads the NSIC with 22.2 points per game, hit a career-best seven three-point field goals on 16 attempts and added two rebounds. He now has 46 career double-digit scoring games and 16 with 20 points or more. In 10 games at USF, he has nine in double-digits with six of 20 points or more and five games with at least 28 points.

In addition, USF had a big night from Chase Grinde, a junior guard from Spring Grove, Minn., who had 15 points and eight rebounds. It was Grinde’s 40th career double-digit scoring game. He was 6-of-12 from the floor and hit 1-of-3 from three-point range. USF also had 10 points, five assists and four rebounds from Jake Kettner while Jack Thompson had eight points, three assists and a rebound before fouling out. USF also had a career-best 14 rebounds from Wesley Oba, who added six points and a blocked shot.

USF, which had a two-game winning streak against Upper Iowa end, held a 47-to-41 rebound edge but was hurt by foul shooting, hitting 9-of-18 for 50 percent. USF was 30-of-80 from the field for 37.5 percent and made 10-of-31 from three-point range for 32.3 percent.

UIU, which hit 26-of-57 field goals for 45.6 percent and 5-of-19 from three-point range, had a huge margin at the foul line. The Peacocks, which were led by Joe Smoldt with 25 points and Jareese Williams with 24, including 14-of-15 free throws, made 29-of-38 for 76.3 percent at the foul line. Both teams had 36 points in the pain and USF had a huge 28-to-4 margin on second change points.

Scoring Summary –
In the opening half, USF was hurt by its shooting, making just 30.6 percent from the field on 11-of-36 shooting. The Cougars hit just 3-of-12 from three-point range and was 1-of-5 from the foul line. USF had a 24-22 rebound edge and had eight points from Cartwright along with seven by Grinde and six from Thompson. UIU was 14-of-32 from the field for 43.8 percent and 3-of-11 from three-point range with a 5-of-8 mark at the foul line. Williams and Smoldt both had 10 points to lead the Peacocks.

With a three from Cartwright and two from Cedric Johnson on a drive, USF took a 5-4 lead with 17:20 to play in the first half. A  three at 15:14 from Grinde helped USF build an 8-4 advantage. USF had another Grinde basket and led 10-6 with 14:30 to play. However, UIU, took a 20-17 lead before Cartwright’s three tied the game at 20. UIU scored two straight baskets, including a jumper from Smoldt for a 24-20 lead (6:55).

Cartwright’s drive and score off the glass ended a four-minute scoring drought as Cougars trailed, 26-22 with four minutes to play. Then, UIU had a 10-2 run with a three giving them a 36-24 lead before Noah Puetz jumper drew the lead down to 36-26 which was the final score of the half.

In the second half, USF opened by hitting 9-of-17 for 52.9 percent from the field and opened on a 26-16 run to tie the game at 50 with 10:44 to play after a pair of foul shots by Wesley Oba.

Cougars opened the second half with four straight points to draw within 36-30 with 18:5 to play. Kettner’s three at 18:42 cut the lead to 38-33. Two threes from Cartwright ddrew USF within 43-39 at the 15:50 mark. Then, Cartwright made two foul shots to cut the deficit to 43-41 at 14:51. When Oba hit a pair of foul shots, USF had come all the way back from a 10-point deficit at the break to tie the score at 50 at the 10:44 mark.

However, the Peacocks answered the run by scoring seven straight points for a 61-54 lead with 7:10 to play in the game. At the 5:58 mark, Cartwright hit a three to cut the deficit to 63-57 but the Cougars couldn’t get all the way back although they make several tries. After UIU took a 74-63 lead with 2:05 to play on a pair of foul shots from Smoldt, USF had an 11-6 run to close within, 80-74, with 45 seconds to play. However, USF could get no closer as the Peacocks continued to knock down free throws, as they made six more to close the game.

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