MBB: Cougars Down Vikings in OT

SIOUX FALLS – Drew Guebert had 18 points and Drew Maschoff had his first career double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds to help rally the University of Sioux Falls Men’s Basketball Team (9-4, 5-3 NSIC) to a 70-61 overtime victory over city rival Augustana (9-5, 4-4 NSIC) before 1,738 in attendance at the Stewart Center.

In total, USF, which captured its fourth straight overtime victory this season, had four players in double figures as junior guard Justin Taylor had 12 points and nine rebounds while senior guard Zach Wessels added 10 points and eight rebounds to help the Cougars to its second win in the last three games with the Vikings. USF, which ended a two-game losing streak, is now 7-0 when four players reach double digits and 6-1 at the Stewart Center.

After scoring season-low in the first half and shooting just 22.6 percent (7-of-31), USF trailed AU, 24-18. However, USF shot 48.1 percent in the second half (13-of-27) to take a 57-51 lead with 1:07 to play. The Vikings rallied with six points in the final minute to force overtime. But when a game goes into overtime, it is to USF’s advantage. USF has outscored opponents, 53-to-29 this season, including the 13-to-4 advantage against AU tonight. With the victory, USF moved to third place in the NSIC South at 5-3, one game ahead of the Vikings.

Without the services of guard Trevon Evans, who ranked fourth in the league with 20.5 points per game, Maschoff, a 6-4, 175 pound guard from Ankeny, Iowa, and Taylor, a 6-5 junior from Chicago, Ill., stepped up.

In his first career start, Maschoff set career-highs with his 15 points and 11 rebounds while recording three steals and dishing two assists in 38 minutes of action. He made 5-of-13 field goals, including 3-of-7 from three-point range. As for Taylor, he hit 3-of-7 field goals, including a dunk late in the second half, and made 6-of-8 free throws, including four straight in the final 1:19 of overtime. With those totals, he tied a career-high with 12 points while setting a career-high with nine rebounds in 28 minutes of action.

“I am very proud of this team,” said USF Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Johnson, who recorded his 50th career win in the NSIC and his 165th victory at USF. “Everyone who played tonight (10 players) contributed to this victory. Drew (Maschoff) really stepped up when we were shorthanded at guard. But Justin (Taylor) also came up big as did Drew (Guebert) and Zach (Wessels). Then, we had a fifth-year senior Tom Aase, who played just five minutes but came up with a critical rebound late in the game.

With 18 points, Guebert recorded his 52nd double digit scoring game of his career. He also continued his move up USF’s all-time scoring chart. He now has 1,095 points for 24th all-time, passing Chad Bendt who had 1,083 points from 1991-95. In 42 minutes against the Vikings, Guebert also had five rebounds and tied a career-high with three blocks.

Overall, USF was 24-of-63 from the field for 38.1 percent. They made 4-of-20 from three point range and 18-of-31 from the foul line. The Cougars won the rebound battle for the 10th time in 13 games, compiling a 50-44 edge over AU. With 50 rebounds, USF tied a season-high (Southwest Minnesota State, 11/25/17). The Vikings made 21-of-69 from the field for 30.4 percent, hitting just 11-41 shots in the second half and overtime as the Cougars stepped up its defense effort inside and on the perimeter.

Game Breakdown
Offense was a struggle for both teams in the first half. After Steve Schaefer opened the game with a three-pointer and AU owned a 7-2 lead, Maschoff had five points within 10 seconds to tie the game at 7-7 with 16:36 to play. But offense would be a premium at both ends in the opening half. With 12:12 to play, Matt Cartwright, who had a team-high 14 points for the Vikings, knocked down a trey for a 13-11 advantage. With the game knotted at 13, AU scored six straight points for a 19-13 margin (6:36, 1st half). After going through a six minute scoring drought, Maschoff’s second three of the game cut AU’s lead to 19-16 (4:23, 1st half). The Vikings closed the half with a 5-2 advantage for a 24-18 halftime advantage.

“We had some shooting issues in the first half but we stayed closed because of outstanding defense,” said Johnson.

The Cougars struggled from the field by hitting just 7-of-31 shots for 22.6 percent while AU made 10-of-28 for 3.7 percent. Neither team was successful from long range as the Vikings made 3-of-10 and USF just 2-of-14. Maschoff led the Cougars with eight points. USF, which was outrebounded, 24-20, had just two foul shot attempts, making one.

Things started a little slow in the second half with the Vikings holding a 28-22 advantage after two foul shots from Marcus Asmus with 16:54 to play.

The teams traded points until USF used a 5-0 run to tie the game at 36 with 9:39 to play after a lay-up by Guebert. Down 46-45 (6:13), Taylor had a dunk off a feed from Maschoff and then had a tip-in followed by an Aaron Rothermund drive and score to give USF a 51-46 lead at the 4:35 mark. USF was able to maintain the advantage until AU rallied to tie the game on a Cartwright basket with 15 seconds to play. When Guebert’s baseline shot was off line in the final seconds the game moved into overtime.

Wessels, who recorded his 21st double digit scoring game, came up big in overtime with a pair of lay-ups in the opening two minutes for a 61-57 advantage. A driving lay-up by Maschoff and two free throws from Taylor provided USF with a 68-61 lead with 1:19 to play. From there, Taylor closed the scoring with two more free throws with 19 seconds left as the Cougars held the Vikings scoreless over the final 2:25 of the game.

Next for USF will be a road trip to Upper Iowa on Jan. 5 and Winona State on Jan. 6.