Mavericks Snap Cougars' Streak at Home
MSU improves to 7-1 (3-1 NSIC), while USF falls to 5-4 (1-4 NSIC) on the season.
Despite giving up 12 offensive rebounds to the visiting team in the first half, USF found a way to stick around. Trailing by 10 with 9:48 left in the half, the Cougars began to warm up, hitting four of their next five field goals to cut their deficit to four points with just over 5:00 to play.
Near the 3:00 mark, Derek Brown knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to secure USF's first tie, 27-27, with 2:26 to go. USF went up two points, but MSU would close the half on a 5-0 run to maintain a 32-29 advantage at the break.
Through the first three minutes of the second half, USF stayed within four points of their opponent, but that quickly changed. The Mavericks held the Cougars scoreless the next four minutes, while rattling off 12-straight to open up a 16 point lead with 13:17 left in the game.
The Cougars pulled within 13 points on two separate occasions, but that is as close as they would come. The Mavericks' 22-point victory was USF's most lopsided defeat this season.
MSU's domination on the glass was a difference maker. The Mavericks outrebounded the Cougars 39-13, including 17 offensive rebounds which contributed to 16 second chance points.
USF's relief outscored their opponents' bench for the sixth time this season.
Led by 17 points from Jarvis Williams, MSU had three players with 10 points or more. Assem Marei posted an impressive stat line of 16 points and 13 rebounds for the game's only double-double, while Zach Monaghan added 14 points for the Mavericks.
Tonight's loss also marked the first time USF finished the game with one player in double-digit scoring. Brown, who scored nine of his 11 in the first half, went 4-of-8 and 3-of-6 from deep in 21 minutes of action. He also tallied three steals.
The Cougars return to the court Friday, January 4 when they travel to Upper Iowa before heading to Winona State Saturday, January 5.