MANKATO, MINN. (USF) – A short-handed University of Sioux Falls Men’s Basketball Team (6-6, 2-4 NSIC) dropped an 81-63 decision to Minnesota State (8-3, 3-3 NSIC) on Friday night at the Taylor Center at Bresnan Arena.

USF, which had two starters out, was led by a pair of players who reached career-bests. Senior forward Marko Coudreau scored 13 points for his top mark at USF and junior Will Kondrat reached double-digits for the first time at USF with a team-high 14 points.

“We battled hard tonight but we were missing some players which hurt. But give this group credit, they continued to play hard and gave great effort. We will try and bounce back tomorrow,” said USF Head Coach Chris Johnson, whose team faces Concordia St. Paul on Saturday at 5:30 pm at the Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Also for USF, freshman guard Luke Healy had seven points, four assists and two steals in his second game at USF, including his first start. Carson Rentz and Mason Steele both contributed career-bests with five points as USF had 11 players were able to get into the scorebook.

USF, which was outscored, 48-23, in the first half after shooting just 25 percent, outscored MSU, 40-33, in the second half to cut the deficit to 81-63. In the final 20 minutes, the Cougars hit on 17-of-32 field goals for 53.1 percent.

Kondrat had his 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting with 2-of-3 at the foul line. He also had six rebounds and a steal in 21 minutes. Coudreau, who had a career-best 3-of-5 from three-point range, added 13 points by hitting 5-of-9 field goals with two rebounds and two assists.

Overall, USF was 26-of-68 for 38.2 percent from the field. In addition, the Cougars made 6-of-17 from three-point range for 35.3 percent and 5-of-8 at the foul line for 62.5 percent. MSU, which had 25 points from Quincy Anderson and 20 by Davonte Thedford, made 30-of-58 from the field on 51.7 percent shooting. They were 5-of-16 from three-point range and 16-of-23 at the foul line. MSU had a 39-38 rebound margin as both teams had 10 turnovers.

In the game, MSU gained an advantage with their play in the paint with a 42-to-30 margin and an 8-0 margin on fast-break points.

Scoring summary
In the opening half, the short-handed Cougars were unable to find their rhythm on offense, making just 9-of-36 field goals for 25 percent. They were 3-of-9 for 33.3 percent from three-point range but only 2-of-4 from the foul line. On the other side, MSU was sizzling after dropping three straight games. The Mavericks hit 19-of-28 field goals for 67.9 percent and hit on 5-of-9 from three-point range as well as 5-of-7 from the foul line. In a half that had just nine total turnovers (4 from USF), MSU had a 20-19 rebound margin. But the margin of 10 field goals proved the difference as MSU had 17 points from Quincy Anderson, who made 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range. Devonte Thedford hit for 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting. USF had eight points from Marko Coudreau, who made a pair of three-pointers and four points from both Chase Grinde and Kondrat.

MSU jumped out quickly and raced to a 14-0 lead (14:48) as the Cougars missed nine straight shots to open the game. With Anderson tallying eight points and Thedford, four, the Mavericks opened the double-digit lead. USF was able to get on the board via a jumper from Coudreau and another from Grinde to cut deficit to 16-4 at the 12:40 mark. A big share of USF’s early problems was shooting as they made just 2-of-15 and missed a pair of foul shots. MSU opened by hitting 8-of-12 shots.

With 10:57 to play, Coudreau’s triple reduced MSU’s lead to 18-7. Four straight points by Brady Williams helped MSU to a 22-7 lead at the 10-minute mark. Then, Kondrat’s jumper ended that mini-run as USF trailed 22-9. After a second triple from Coudreau, Thedford scored on a driving lay-up and Malik Willingham hit a triple for a 34-12 lead with 5:07 to play. With 3:48 on the clock, USF reduced the lead to 36-19 after a three from Kettner followed baskets by Luke Healy and Will Kondrat.

After a Jack Thompson lay-up and two foul shots from Chase Grinde, USF trailed, 39-23 with 1:58 to play. However, MSU closed on a 9-3 run to go ahead by 48-23.

In the second half, Coudreau canned his career-best third triple and set a career-high in points as USF trailed, 48-26. With 19:10 to play, Jake Kettner’s lay-up cut the lead to 49-28. Later, Kondrat scored twice and Noah Puetz also made a driving lay-up as USF drew within 58-36 and 14:35 to play.

With 9:53 to play, Mason Steele converted inside and with the “and 1”, the Cougars trailed, 68-46. USF eventually cut the lead to 81-63 as they made 17-of-32 field goals for 53.1 percent after the break. Meanwhile, MSU made 11-of-30 from the field for 36.7 percent but held off USF by making 11-of-16 foul shots.