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Jenni Noordmans moves the ball at Jim Gremmels court Wednesday.

Cougar women beat MLC, host conference championship game Saturday

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The University of Minnesota, Morris defeated Martin Luther College Wednesday 74-53 to advance to the 2011 UMAC Women's Basketball Championship game.

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With the win, the Cougars will host the Eagles of Northwestern Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

The Cougars never trailed to the Knights during the game, as they took a quick three-point lead and never looked back. After a missed three-pointer by Emily Mehr, Steph Roggenbuck secured the offensive rebound, passed the ball to Brandi Cresap, who finally passed it back to Roggenbuck who connected on a three-pointer.

The Cougars' shot 48.4 percent (30-of-62) from the field.

All five starters for the Cougars scored, with four of them scoring in double figures. In total eight players scored in the game, with six in double digits. Mehr finished with 15 and led the Cougars the fourth time this season. Roggenbuck had 13, giving her 447 total points this season, 123 more points than her closest teammate (Mehr, 324). Roggenbuck also had three assists and three blocks.

The Cougars only led by six at halftime, but stepped up on both sides of the ball in the second half. They held the Knights to only a 25-percent (7-of-28) shooting mark in the period and outscored them 34-19 over the final 20 minutes. The Cougars dominated the Knights in the paint 34-22, while also out-rebounding them 38-28.

Cresap increased her NCAA leading assist-turnover ratio with six assists and no turnovers. On the national stage she has a 7.5 mark, with the next closet at 2.94. Cresap also had 10 points.

The Cougars took an 11-point lead on a Roggenbuck layup with 16:24 in the second half and kept their lead above 11 for the rest of the game.

The Cougars now focus their sights on Northwestern, who they have beaten twice this season. In the most recent matchup, the Cougars escaped St. Paul with a one-point victory, clinching the regular season UMAC Women's Basketball Championship. The last time the Cougars hosted the Eagles, the Cougars won 65-52.

Everything the Cougars have worked for this season comes down to Saturday night at 7:00 p.m., when they host Northwestern College at Jim Gremmels Court for a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

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