Connor Hellebust came up clutch for the University of Mary.
But Upper Iowa was better in overtime in an entertaining 92-86 win over the Marauders on Friday night at the McDowell Activity Center.
After U-Mary scored the last seven points in regulation, capped by Hellebust’s 3-ball, the Peacocks got a crushing triple of their own by Jareese Williams in OT. Up 85-82, Williams connected from the corner with 45 seconds left to give the Peacocks the distance they needed.
“It’s disappointing. There’s a lot of things we’ll be replaying in our heads all night,” U-Mary coach Joe Kittell said. “It’s hard to stomach … there were opportunities for us we didn’t take advantage of.”
Upper Iowa had five players in double figures and another with nine. Carson Parker, cold early, came on strong late to lead everybody with 20 points.
“We have some good depth this season, guys that we expect to come off the bench and contribute,” Upper Iowa coach Brooks McKowen said. “We needed everybody tonight … that’s what you expect when you come to a tough place to play like this.”
Trevor Zacher led the Marauders with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The senior from Beulah also had three assists.
Turnovers (16) and fouls (26) hurt the Marauders. Upper Iowa took 18 more throw free throws (32) and made 10 (22) more than the home team.
“Really, the game came down to two things … we fouled too much and turned the ball over too many times,” Kittell said. “We shot the ball well, we scored plenty of points, but just too many carless mistakes and you can’t do that and expect to win.”
Jaylan White had 15 points and four assists for the Marauders. Matthew Kreklow and Keith Hunter added 10 each.
The Marauders led 40-32 at halftime, but Upper Iowa stormed back and it was back and forth for most of the second half.
“Mary’s got a good team. Joe does a really good job. You know what kind of game it’s going to be when you come here,” McKowen said. “We just made a few more plays down the stretch. We probably didn’t handle the end-of-game situation the greatest, but I really like how our guys responded in overtime. This is a good win for us.”
Joe Smoldt and Munachiso Okonkwo added 14 each for the Peacocks, who climbed to .500 at 12-12 overall. Mitchell Eighme added 12 off the bench and Quentin Blaue (10) also was in double figures.
The Marauders got 28 bench points off their own. None bigger than Hellebust’s 3-pointer.
Down 79-72 with 1:40 left, U-Mary scored the last seven points of regulation capped by Hellebust’s 3-pointer off an acrobatic pass from White.
“Connor hit a big shot for us,” Kittell said. “I really liked how we didn’t panic down the stretch … we just weren’t able to finish in overtime.”
The Marauders are back at home tonight, hosting Winona State at 6 p.m.