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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Epperson’s 23 lead Cougars to 94-84 win

DENMARK, S.C. — Thirteen hasn’t been unlucky for NAIA No. 2 Mountain State University this season. At least not yet.

The Cougars recovered from a second straight 13-point deficit and defeated Oakwood (Ala.) 94-84 Saturday at the Voorhees Tip-Off Classic.

MSU trailed host Voorhees by 13 Friday night before winning.

Rodney Epperson led the scoring parade for MSU in Saturday’s win with 23 points. Mersad Terzic added 17 points and moved to sixth place on the all-time scoring list.

“We need to get out of the gate quicker, be prepared to play at the beginning of the game,” coach Bob Bolen said of the Cougars’ early-game doldrums.

Yusuf Baker had 14 points and Donald Whitfield added 13 as the Cougars improved to 2-0.

MSU trailed 38-25 before closing at the end of the first half to trail by two, 44-42 at the half.

The teams went back-and-forth over the first five minutes of the second half and the score was 50-50 at the 13:10 mark.

MSU then went on a 9-0 run and controleld the game the rest of the way.

The Cougars led by as many as 15 in the last 10 minutes before settling for the 10-point win.

MSU was 30-for-34 from the free throw line.

Jim Jenkins led Oakwood with 27 points, but 21 of that came in the first half.

MSU will open the home portion of the 2005-06 schedule by hosting Bluefield (Va.) Monday. It will be the first of two games with Top 5 NAIA teams for Bluefield, which faces Georgetown (Ky.) Nov. 5.

Mountain State’s homestand continues with Davis & Elkins Thursday and Ohio Valley next Saturday at the Armory. Saturday’s game has been designated as Alumni Day and all alumni of Beckley College, CWV and MSU get in free.

“We’re fortunate to be 2-0 and we’re excited about the opportunity to play at home,” Bolen said.

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