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Cougar offense opens up in win over Bethany Lutheran women

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MORRIS - Balanced scoring - and a lot of it - sent the University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team to their fourth straight win, as they took a 91-72 decision Friday over visiting Bethany Lutheran in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) play.

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Four different players scored in double figures for the Cougars, and for the first time all season, multiple players finished with 20 or better. Jenni Noordmans and Kendra Wycoff each led the way with 21, with Emily Mehr added 20, as the Cougars scored a season-high 91 points.

The Cougars shot a season-high 60 percent (12-of-20) from behind the arc, which included a blazing 70 percent (7-of-10) in the first half as they took a 15-point lead into the locker room at 39-24.

After the Vikings took a quick 5-2 lead over the first 90 seconds, the Cougars responded with a 29-6 run to take their biggest lead of the half at 20 points after a Noordmans jumper put UMM up 31-11 at the 7:57 mark.

Noordmans already had 12 at the break, missing just once in a 5-of-6 first half that included a 2-of-2 mark from three-point range.

The Cougars also forced 12 Vikings turnovers in the first half, turning them into 11 points, part of 17 points off 18 Bethany Lutheran miscues in the game.

The second half was more of the same, as the Cougars opened their lead all the way up to 31, the third time they've led by at least 30 in a game this season. At the 9:50 mark of the second, Allie Sannes hit a pair free throws to put the Cougars up 68-37, and they coasted the rest of the way, holding a 20-point lead nearly the entire way.

Sannes hit double figures, scoring 12 as the final Cougar in double figures.

Sannes and Wycoff paced a bench effort that led to 40 points from the Cougar reserves, as eight different players got in the scoring column.

They also pulled down 41 rebounds - their fifth time over 40 - led by a career-high nine from point guard Kelsey Erickson, all on the defensive end. Noordmans and Abby Fragodt each also added eight.

With the win, the Cougars move back above the .500 mark for the first time since the second game of the season, and stay unbeaten in conference play. They also extended their UMAC winning streak to 29 straight.

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