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Cougars Drop Nail-Biter to Minot State

USF Cougars
USF Cougars

MINOT, N.D. (KWSN) – USF’s Valentine’s Day matchup with Minot State ended in heartache for the Cougars as Minot State defeated USF 68-67 at the Minot State Dome in Minot, N.D. The Cougars slipped to 12-10 (8-10 NSIC) with the loss, while Minot State improved to 15-7 (11-7 NSIC). 

USF’s offensive woes from last weekend carried over into Friday’s game as the Cougars shot 24-of-67 from the field (35.8%).

The Beavers were propelled by Carly Boag and Katie Hardy as the two players combined for 48 of Minot State’s 68 points. Boag recorded a double-double by scoring 28 points while grabbing 12 rebounds.

The Cougars were led by Laura Johnson. The senior forward was just short of her career high in points as she scored 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting including 6-of-10 from behind the arc. Johnson also grabbed ten rebounds for USF as she recorded her seventh double-double of the season. She was also the lone Cougar player to score in double-figures in the game.

The Cougars and Beavers went back and forth in the first twenty minutes of action as neither team led by more than four points. USF went into halftime trailing Minot State by three points.

The second half was the same story as the first half for the Cougars. The Beavers built a six-point lead with 15:50 left in the game, but a pair of three-point shots by Laura Johnson and Teagan Molden would tie the game back up.

Just when the Cougars broke through and took their first and only lead of the second half, Minot State answered back to dash any hopes of a USF victory. With 42 seconds left in the game, Laura Johnson hit a pair of free-throws to give USF a 66-65 lead. However, the Beavers responded with a jumpshot by Katie Hardy.

The Cougars looked to be in good shape when the Beavers sent Laura Johnson to the charity stripe with a chance to give USF a lead. However, Johnson, a career 82.7% free-throw shooter, missed the front-end of a one-and-one and Minot State came up with the rebound.

USF was still in the game as they had possession with 16 seconds left and were down by three points. Alicia Boe tried to push the game to overtime with her first three-point attempt, but her shot came up short. Teammate Laura Johnson then grabbed the rebound and kicked it back out to Boe who hit a long jumper at the buzzer. Boe’s shot was ruled a two-point basket and after an official review, the call on the court stood.  

Minot State narrowly edged the Cougars on the boards as the Beavers grabbed 44 rebounds compared to 39 rebounds for USF.

The Cougars will look to bounce back tomorrow as they face U-Mary in Bismarck, N.D. with tipoff set for 4 p.m.

Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls