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Cori Becker finds an open lane to drive against tough Northwestern defense on Saturday, March 1. Tough lopsided loss to the No. 3 seeded Eagles ended the Cougar season 71-33.

Cold snap costs Cougars

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The University of Minnesota, Morris (17-10) could not overcome a slow start, falling 71-33 in the 2014 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Championship to Northwestern (20-7).

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The Cougars started just 1-22 from the field and Northwestern countered by converting from behind the arc throughout the game as the Eagles took home the championship.

In her final game as a Cougar, Abby Fragodt did what she does best; block shots, distribute the ball and fill up the stat sheet. The senior, who finished as the fourth leading rebounder in school history, had seven rebounds, five assists and four blocks. Tori Holt had a double-double, completing a strong freshman year, with ten points and 11 rebounds. Emily Auch added nine points and eight rebounds.

Despite starting the game cold, Morris trailed by just four, 7-3 after six minutes of play. Holt had the first two buckets for the Cougars in the first half; however when she hit her second field goal with 3:03 left in the half, Morris trailed by 15. Northwestern took a 29-12 lead at the break.

The Cougars finished the half by making three of their final six shots and tried to carry that momentum into the second half. Auch converted a three point play, cutting the lead to 12 with just over 17 minutes to play. The Eagles responded by hitting eight of their next ten shots to build their lead to 21 halfway through the second half. Northwestern continued to shoot the ball well in the second half, especially from three as they pulled away from the Cougars.

Northwestern finished the game 13-20 from behind the arc, winning 71-33. Morris shot the ball better in the second half, but the Eagles proved to be too much on Saturday evening.

The Cougars finished the season with 17 wins, they have now won at least 17 games every year since 2009-10. During that span, the Cougars have won five straight UMAC Regular Season Titles, a streak they kept alive this season by finishing 13-1 in conference, two games better than anyone else in the league.

The Cougars say goodbye to lone senior in Abby Fragodt, who contributed with 70 assists, 76 blocked shots and 99 points this season.

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