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Eric Peterson, Published January 31 2014

Upper Iowa upends MSUM men's basketball team in overtime

MOORHEAD – Minnesota State Moorhead not only lost a game Friday night, but the Dragons may have also lost their starting point guard.

Upper Iowa guard Joey Woods scored a three-point play with two seconds to play in overtime. That play lifted the Peacocks to a dramatic 109-107 victory in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men’s basketball.

“Beating a team like this, they are just as good as any other team in the conference,” said Woods, who finished with a game-high 40 points. “This one means a lot for us.”

The Dragons (14-5, 10-5 NSIC) lost at home for the first time this season. They had won their first nine games played at Nemzek. MSUM junior point guard Jordan Riewer didn’t play in the second half after likely breaking his right hand (shooting hand) in the first half. Dragons head coach Chad Walthall said he isn’t sure how long the injury would keep Riewer out if the hand is broken.

“We’re just going to have to start learning how to play without him,” Walthall said.

Woods helped force overtime, scoring on a drive to the basket that tied the score at 90-90 with 12 seconds remaining in the second half. The 6-foot-2 senior was fouled on the drive, but missed the ensuing free throw.

The Dragons had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but junior guard Malik Wood missed a long jumper as time expired. MSUM was 1 of 6 from the foul line in the final minute of the second half. The Peacocks scored the final four points in regulation to force overtime.

“It was very disappointing,” Walthall said. “When we had a chance to close it, we didn’t come up with the plays.”

The Dragons shot 59 percent (32 of 54) from the foul line. In contrast, the Peacocks were 86 percent (36 of 42) on free throws. MSUM also committed a season-high 18 turnovers.

“Instead of just being solid and being smart, we had a tendency to lose our minds a little bit, and make some plays that I haven’t seen from us in a while,” Walthall said.

The Dragons took a 107-106 lead after Wood sank two foul shots with 7 seconds remaining in overtime. Woods countered by taking the inbound and driving the length of the court to score the winning 3-point play.

“I was just thinking get to the rim and try to either get fouled or put one up on the backboard,” said Woods, who made 13 of 15 free throws.

Woods scored 17 points in the first half, 14 in the second half and nine in overtime. Woods was 7 of 7 on free throws in overtime.

“It was fun overall experience, being away and their crowd getting into it at the end,” Woods said. “It was crazy. It was just one of my best experiences.”

Wood paced the Dragons with a career-high 25 points. MSUM had five players finish in double-figure scoring.

UPPER IOWA (9-10, 7-8 NSIC): Woods 13-22 13-15 40, Roth 5-8 8-8 18, Hanna 1-2 2-2 4, Lang 6-11 4-4 21, Weeber 0-5 0-0 0, Pagel 3-10 4-4 12, Lenhart 1-3 0-0 3, Hay 0-4 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Ogbonna 3-6 5-9 11, Mecca 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 32-73 36-42 109.

MSUM (14-5, 10-5): Riewer 2-2 0-0 5, Clark 6-12 4-11 16, Williams 3-7 4-6 10, Vaughan 6-12 3-6 19, Bingham 7-11 4-7 20, Songolo 0-4 2-2 2, Wood 5-9 13-20 25, Lien 4-5 0-0 8, Filipek 0-0 2-2 2, Sevlie 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-62 32-54 107.

Half: MSUM 47, UI 47. Regulation: MSUM 90, UI 90. 3-point goals: UI 9-27 (Woods 1-3, Roth 0-2, Hanna 0-1, Lang 5-8, Weeber 0-4, Pagel 2-6, Lenhart 1-2, Ogbonna 0-1), MSUM 9-22 (Riewer 1-1, Williams 0-1, Vaughan 4-9, Bingham 2-3, Songolo 0-2, Wood 2-5, Lien 0-1). Total fouls: UI 35, MSUM 28. Fouled out: Roth, Ogbonna, Clark, Williams. Rebounds: UI 39 (Woods 8), MSUM 49 (Clark 18). Assists: UI 12 (Woods 4), MSUM 15 (three players with 3). Steals: UI 10 (three players with 2), MSUM 9 (Vaughan 3). Turnovers: UI 12 (Woods 5), MSUM 18 (Wood 6). A-1,298.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com