Cougars up 3-0 in UMAC
UMM Sports Information
The University of Minnesota, Morris, womens’ basketball team improved to 3-0 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference with wins over St. Scholastica and Northland last Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17-18.
UM-Morris 71, St. Scholastica 67
In a game that featured 52 fouls, it was Minnesota Morris who came out on top 71-67 over St. Scholastica in the UMAC Game of the Week on Friday, Jan. 17. The Cougars had 13 more free throw opportunities than the Saints, which proved to be important in the victory.
Minnesota Morris started out on fire, taking an early 9-2 lead over the Saints. Emily Auch had the first six points for the Cougars, proving to be aggressive on the drive. Kendra Wycoff hit back to back threes as UMM maintained a seven point lead at 12-5, just 4:30 into the contest.
The Saints rallied back and took their first lead at the 12:36 mark after a three pointer from the corner. Morris answered back and held on to the lead for a majority of the first half. The Cougars again took a seven point lead, this time 33-26. The Saints responded with a 10-1 run over the final 3:44 of the first half and took a slight 36-34 lead into the locker room.
It was back and forth action early in the second half but the Cougars used a 12-1 run to take a 52-42 lead. St. Scholastica snapped the run with a deep three to cut the lead seven. Morris weathered the storm midway through the half and held an eight point lead with under eight minutes to go.
The UMAC preseason favorites made another push and cut the lead to two on a layup with just over six minutes remaining. Brooke Decker responded with a three in the corner pushing the lead back up to five moments later. The lead shrank down to two once again but the Cougars responded and another three by Decker in the corner pushed the lead to seven with just over three minutes left.
A pair of free throws with 2:38 left on the clock cut the UMM lead to three at 65-62. The Cougars turned the ball over on their next possession and the Saints picked up a free throw, once again cutting the lead to two. Kayla Kraemer hit a runner in the lane to push the lead back to four with just over a minute left on the next UMM possession. After a missed layup for the Saints the Cougars went to the line up four with 39.3 left over in the game. Kraemer hit the first of two at the line pushing the lead to five before the Saints responded with a jumper in the paint to cut the lead to three with 30.6 left in the game.
St. Scholastica was forced to foul again, this time sending Decker to the line. She would miss both giving CSS the ball back with a chance to tie the game. The Saints hit a layup on their next possession and cutting the lead to one. After having some trouble getting the ball in initially, the Cougars got the ball in the hands of Kramer, who was then fouled. She hit both free throws putting UMM back up by three. St. Scholastica had a good look at a three but it hit the back iron and Abby Fragodt gathered the rebound. Fragodt hit the first of two free throws with 2.4 left, sealing the victory.
Emily Auch finished with a team high 18 points on 5-11 shooting from the field and 8-13 from the line. Brooke Decker and Tori Holt each finished with double digit points off the bench, Decker had 11 and Holt had 10. Both Auch and Holt had double-doubles, Auch had 11 rebounds and Holt had 10. Morris got to the line 41 times and hit 26 free throws, eight more than the Saints, which keyed their victory on the night.
UM-Morris 62, Northland 45
The Cougar defense held Northland to just 31.4 percent shooting on Saturday, Jan. 18 to pick up a 62-45 win over Northland College. Morris outscored Northland 40-18 in the paint on the night, which helped them gain control early.
It took awhile for the Cougars to gain separation from Northland leading by three after the opening six minutes of action. Minnesota Morris went on a 22-6 run to take a 30-11 lead with just over a minute to play in the first half. Jordan Zickermann hit a runner in the lane just before the end of the first half giving UMM the 32-15 lead at the break.
Points in the paint favored UMM, 22-8 in the first twenty minutes of play. The Cougars also forced 15 turnovers, which led to a 12-0 advantage in points off turnovers in the first half. Holt and Cori Becker each had eight points in the first half. Becker was 3-3 from the field and 2-2 from the line in the first half. Holt’s eight points were part of the Cougars 13 first half points from bench players.
The lead grew to 25 as Holt hit a jumper in the lane with just over 14 minutes left in the contest. Northland made a run over the next six minutes, cutting the lead to 12, but didn’t get any closer as the Morris lead expanded to over 20 late in the second half.
Auch finished with a team high 15 points on 6-9 shooting. Holt finished the day with 12 points and six rebounds. Abby Fragodt had 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win. Morris finished with a 20-4 advantage in fast break points.
Minnesota Morris will travel to St. Paul next weekend to take on Northwestern and North Central on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24-25, respectively.