USF men pick up win over MSU Moorhead


MOORHEAD, MINN. (USF) – Matt Cartwright scored a game-high 22 points while Jack Thompson added 16 points and Chase Grinde had 15 to lead the University of Sioux Falls Men’s Basketball Team (4-3) to an 80-76 win over Minnesota State Moorhead in nonconference play at the Microtel Thanksgiving Classic which concluded on Saturday (Nov. 27).

In a game featured numerous runs by both sides and 24 lead changes as well as 22 ties, the Cougars prevailed with a closing run of 11-2 over the final 2:58 of regulation. USF trailed, 74-59 before Cartwright hit a three and was fouled with the “and 1” drawing USF within a point at 74-73. The Cougars then closed on a 7-2 run for the win. Key in the final moments was four points from Thompson in the final 1:20 of the game. His foul shots gave USF a 75-74 lead and with 37 seconds left converted a drive into points for a four-point lead (78-74).

In a back-and-forth first half, USF took a 44-41 lead to break when Grinde scored just before the first half ended.

“I am proud of how hard we played today and bounced back,” said USF Head Coach Chris Johnson, who picked up his 244th career win. “We really competed through the good and bad today. We had a number of big performances from Jack (Thompson), Matt (Cartwright) and Chase (Grinde). It was great to earn this win,” added Johnson, whose team will face Augustana at the Sanford Pentagon on Thursday at 5:30 pm in NSIC play. Then, USF is home on Saturday, Dec. 4 for a 3:30 pm start against Wayne State at the Stewart Center.

“We really dug in defensively late in the game and finished plays on the offensive end, including some big shots,” he said.

Against MSUM, Cartwright scored double-digits for the seventh straight game and with his 22 points now has 972 career points.  He was 8-of-15 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from three-point range, and added two steals and four rebounds.

For the 25th time in his career, Thompson, who made 6-of-10 field goals, including a pair of triples in four attempts, reached double digits with 16, adding six rebounds, four assists and a steal.  Grinde, who reached double-digits for the 38th time, had 15 points, six rebounds four assists and two steals. He now has 818 career points. USF also had a career-best eight points from forward Will Konradt.
Overall, USF was 30-of-66 from the field for 45.5 percent and 8-of-18 from three-point range for 44 percent. The Cougars also made 12-of-17 free throws for 70.6 percent but was outrebounded, 39-32. However, USF forced 18 turnovers while committing just seven.

MSUM was 26-of-53 from the field for 39.1 percent and hit on 53.3 percent from three on 8-of-15 shooting. Also, the Dragons, which had 19 points from Dane Zimmer and 15 from Bryce Irsfeld, made 16-of-22 foul shots for 72.7 percent.

Scoring Summary
In the opening 20 minutes, both teams had leads and runs in a half dominated by the offenses. USF hit 18-of-33 shots from the field for 54.3 percent and made 4-of-4 from three-point range. The Cougars forced 10 turnovers and committed just four. USF led, 30-23, with 8:43 to play before MSUM had a 14-4 run to take the lead.

MSUM hit 16-of-26 shots from the field for 61.5 percent and was 6-of-10 from three. USF was led by Grinde with 10 points while Kondrat had eight points. USF also had seven points from Thompson, who had four rebounds, and dished three assists. Irsfeld had 15 points and hit 6-of-6 from the field (3-of-3 from three-point range).

USF opened the game by hitting 4-of-5 shots but MSUM made all four of their shots for a 9-8 lead with 16:49 to play in the first. After MSUM took a 17-13 lead, Marko Coudreau scored inside and then Kondrat tied the game at 17-17. With consecutive threes from Grinde and Cedric Johnson, plus a jumper from Jake Kettner, USF took a 28-23 lead with 10 minutes to play.  Later, MSUM had a 16-4 run to grab a 39-32 lead with 4:49 to play in the half after Zimmer hit a triple.

With a triple from Thompson and a basket by Austin Slater plus “and 1” at the 3:09 mark, USF cut MSUM’s lead to 41-40 with 2:56 to play in the first half. Later Grinde had a basket to close a 12-2 USF run as the Cougars led, 44-41, at the half.

MSU opened the second half with a 7-0 run for a 48-44 lead as the Cougars missed their first eight shots to open the half. MSUM led, 51-46, after a three-point play by Lorenzo McGhee with 15:03 to play.

But, USF continued stayed focused and in the game. USF cut the lead to 53-51 as Grinde converted a lay-up at the 11:08 mark. Then Cartwright’s jumper at the 10:31 tied the game at 53.
Cartwright, who scored 11 straight points at one stretch, made a triple hit a three as USF built a 64-58 lead (7:58). After USF pushed the lead to 68-60, MSUM had a 9-0 run to take a 69-68 lead with 4:48 to play.  Kettner hit a foul shot to draw USF within 70-69 with 4:16 on the clock.

MSUM responded with four straight for a 74-69 lead. Then in one of the key moments of the game, Cartwright hit his fourth three of the game and was fouled with his four-point play drawing USF within 74-73 with 2:38 on the clock. About a minute late, Thompson was fouled and his two foul shots gave USF the lead for good with 1:20 on the clock. After a stop on defense, Thompson had a lay-up for a 78-74 advantage with 37 seconds left. Then after USF again stopped MSUM, Grinde was fouled and his two foul shots with four seconds iced the game as the Cougars earned a split at the Thanksgiving Classic.

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