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Cougar women clinch No. 1 spot in UMAC

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sports Morris, 56267

Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

For the fourth straight year the University of Minnesota, Morris women’s basketball team is the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Champions.

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The Cougars secured the No. 1 spot in the UMAC with victories over Northland College and St. Scholastica at home over the weekend.

The Cougars host Bethany Lutheran Friday, followed by Martin Luther on Saturday, to wrap up the regular season.

UM-Morris 62, Northland 28

The Cougars held Northland to just seven first-half points on Friday and defeated the LumberJills 62-28.

UMM held Northland to just 3-of-17 shooting in the first half, just 17.6 percent, as they built a 39-7 lead at the break. Emily Mehr had 23 points and went 5-of-5 from beyond the arc in the victory. Abby Fragodt had 12 rebounds, six assists, and five steals in the win, including seven offensive rebounds.   

UMM started the game on a 9-0 run thanks to seven points from Mehr in the opening two minutes of the game. Mehr's former teammate and high school classmate Sarah Hoge hit a three pointer for the LumberJills making it 9-3 with 17 minutes left in the first half.

Morris went on a massive run over the next 15-plus minutes holding Northland without a single point and scoring 28 of their own to take a 37-3 lead. UMM took a 39-7 lead into the break outscoring Northland 23-0 in points off turnovers after forcing 16. Mehr had 18 points in 17 minutes of action in the first half for the Cougars.  

Connor Lewis hit a pair of free throws with 15:39 left in the game to increase the Cougars’ lead to 49-10. The lead got as large as 40 in the second half after Kelsey Erickson hit a jumper with 7:06 left in the game.

UM-Morris 73, St. Scholastica 58

The Cougars defeated St. Scholastica 73-58 on Saturday afternoon to clinch the conference as solo champions thanks to Martin Luther beating Northwestern 69-60. This ensures that Minnesota Morris will be the No. 1 seed in the UMAC Tournament which starts on Feb. 20.  

The Cougars got 23 points from Emily Mehr, 20 from Kendra Wycoff, and 12 from Kayla Kramer.

The team rebounded from a tough first half to shoot 53.8 percent from the field in the second half. Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, but UMM led 32-19 at the break. Morris hit four three pointers compared to none for CSS and had seven more free throws which helped the Cougars gain the 13-point advantage.

It was a tight game in the first eight minutes of the half as the Cougars held a 10-8 lead. Two free throws from Kramer and a three pointer from Wycoff gave UMM a seven-point lead with 10:34 left. The Saints responded to score seven straight points to tie the score at 15 with 7:42 on the clock. Wycoff and Mehr combined for 12 of the next 14 points for the Cougars to take a 29-19 lead. Wycoff had eight of the points during the Cougars’ 14-4 run. The run continued as Emily Auch hit a free throw and Cori Becker hit a jumper to give UMM the 32-19 halftime lead.  

The second half was a high scoring back-and-forth battle as each team seemed to find their shooting stroke as the game went on. Morris had the better stroke earlier in the second half as the lead would grow to 21 at 45-27. St. Scholastica could not get any closer than 11 as the Cougars went on to win 73-58.

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