Andrew Vander Zwaag scored 16 points, and Mike Carlson added 13 points and four assists, as the Truman men's basketball team opened exhibition play with an 89-69 loss at Div. I Southern Mississippi on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulldogs led by as many as seven with 10 minutes to play in the first half, but USM rattled off a 10-0 run to regain the lead which it would hold for the rest of the game.
Truman would pull to within a dozen at 72-60 with six minutes to play in the game, but USM scored seven straight to widen the gap and leave the Bulldogs without enough time to mount another rally.
Vander Zwaag â?? who returns this season as a redshirt sophomore after missing last season with an injury â?? led all Bulldogs by shooting 6-of-13 from the floor (4-of-11 from three-point range) for 16 points in 28 minutes.
Carlson, who shot just 2-of-9 but made it up with a 9-of-10 effort from the foul line chipped in 13 points in 27 minutes.
They were joined in the starting lineup by Marek Bush (9 points), Seth Jackson (2 points) and transfer Reed Mells (7 points).
Truman shot 39.6% from the floor for the game and 5-of-27 from three-point range.
The Bulldogs hit their stride at the free throw line, connecting on 22-of-25 (88.0%) of its attempts, while also handing out 17 assists to just 12 turnovers.
The game featured 49 fouls and 61 combined free throw attempts between the teams.
USM â?? a member of Conference USA â?? was led by four players in double-figures and shot 54.4% from the floor in the game.
The Bulldogs face a quick turnaround in its exhibition schedule, as the purple and white visit Middle Tennessee State on Monday night at 7pm in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Courtesy Truman State University