Dragon Men Fall Short to Bulldogs in Regular-Season Home Finale, 78-76

MOORHEAD, Minn. (MSUM Athletics) -- The Minnesota State University Moorhead men's basketball team fell short to University of Minnesota Duluth in their final regular-season home game by a score of 78-76 on Saturday night. 13909
Dragon seniors prior to the game.

MSUM falls to 18-10 overall and 12-8 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. UMD improves to 15-9 overall and 12-8 in the NSIC.

Senior guard Travaun Coad led the Dragons with 20 points and six rebounds. Freshman guard Siman Sem was one point short of tying a career-high with 18 points. Sem contributed five rebounds and two steals. Senior forward Addison Park had 15 points and three rebounds on the night.

MSUM shot 49.1 percent (28-of-57) from the field compared to 49.2 percent (29-of-59) for UMD. UMD outrebounded MSUM 34-29.

A layup from Sem tied the game 4-4 with 17:57 left in the first half. MSUM captured an 11-8 lead with 16:06 on the clock after a three-pointer from Sem. The Dragons held the lead for several minutes before the Bulldogs tied the game at 18-18 with just under ten minutes remaining. A jumper from Park with 5:17 remaining in the first half gave MSUM the 31-28 lead. Park would sink two free-throws to stretch the MSUM lead to 33-28 with 3:39 remaining. UMD would make a layup as time expired to cut the Dragon lead to 38-32 going into the break.

UMD came out of the break with a five-point run before a jumper from junior guard Johnny Beeninga brought the MSUM lead to 40-37 with 18:13 to go. Another run for the Bulldogs was halted by Beeninga who made a layup with 14:15 on the clock to give MSUM the 46-45 edge. The teams traded points as a three-pointer from freshman guard Bryce Irsfeld tied the game at 56-56 with ten minutes to go.

Back-to-back threes from Coad, followed by two hit free throws from Beeninga gave the Dragons a 64-58 lead with 7:52 to play. The Bulldogs went on an eight-point run to reclaim the lead before a jumper from Park tied the game at 66-66 with 4:55 on the clock. Sem would make two free-throws before UMD would go on a ten-point run to claim a 76-68 lead with one-minute remaining. Four points and a dunk from Sem cut the UMD lead to 76-74 with :24 to go. Coad would nail a jumper to tie the game 76-76 with :18 remaining. UMD hit two free-throws and took a 78-76 lead and forced a Dragon timeout, but MSUM was unable to make a late three-pointer as UMD claimed the win.

MSUM is on the road next week for their final regular-season games as they face Minot State on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and U-Mary on Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m.