USF Athlete of the Week
Derek Brown, this week's USF student-athlete of the week, made sure to make the final home weekend of his college career a memorable one. The 6-foot senior shooting guard from Clark (S.D.) averaged 28 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals during USF’s Senior Day weekend split versus No. 17 Minnesota State and Concordia-St. Paul. Brown shot a combined 15-for-29 from the floor (51.7%), converted 10 of his 20 three-point attempts (50%) and went 16-for-17 (94.1%) at the charity stripe. Brown drained his first two three-pointers against the nationally-ranked Mavericks and finished with a then-career high 24 points to go with two rebounds, three assists and a steal as the Cougars dropped a 103-101 heartbreaker to No. 17 Minnesota State.
Saturday’s regular season finale against Concordia-St. Paul could have easily been a letdown for the University of Sioux Falls men’s basketball team after the disappointing loss to No. 17 Minnesota State, and head coach Chris Johnson relied heavily on senior leadership to get past the resilient Golden Bears (8-18, 5-17 NSIC) and it was only fitting for Derek Brown to play the game of his life in his Stewart Center finale. Brown scored a career-high 32 points to surpass the 1,000-point plateau for his career, but most importantly, those points were the key ingredient in a dramatic and entertaining 95-90 overtime victory over Concordia-St. Paul Saturday at the Stewart Center. Brown went 9-for-16 from the field, went six for ten from three-point land and the top free-throw shooter in the conference was 8-for-8 from the stripe and is now 74-for-77 on the season (96.1 percent). The Cougars had a chance to win it in regulation, but they couldn’t get a shot off in the closing seconds and the game went to overtime. But USF controlled the extra stanza, going up by as much as seven – their biggest lead all night – and holding. Brown had 12 of his points in overtime.
Brown ran away with the right to be called the NSIC’s best free-throw shooter, finishing the regular season 74-for-77 (96.1%)—well ahead of his nearest competitor. Brown also ranks second in the league in three-point field goal percentage with a 47.4% clip (behind BSU’s Jake Schalow, 54%) and is tied with teammate Charles Ward for 17th in the NSIC with his 13.5 points per game scoring average.
The Cougars finish their second season in the NSIC with a 12-10 record (15-11 overall), falling just short in their bid to gain a home playoff date. They will travel to St. Cloud State for Wednesday’s NSIC tournament opener, needing a win to punch their ticket to the Pentagon.
Derek Brown enters the postseason ranked second all-time in program history with 191 three-pointers and need just three triples to surpass Ryan Coapstick (2001-03, 193) for the right to be known as the top sniper in Cougar history.