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Maja Coomes plays solid defense against North Central last Friday night in Morris.

Cougars avenge lone UMAC loss

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UM-Morris 84, North Central 45 The University of Minnesota, Morris (11-9, 8-1 UMAC) improved to 8-1 in the women's basketball conference thanks to an 84-45 win over the North Central (7-11, 2-7).

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Minnesota Morris held a 55-28 rebounding advantage in the game. They had 23 offense rebounds which the Cougars turned into 17 second chance points.

Kendra Wycoff had a game high 22 points, she is now 36 points away from 1,000 career points. Brooke Decker had a team high nine points off the bench.

Both teams struggled to find rhythm in the opening few minutes as they remain knotted at seven after four minutes of play. At the midway portion of the half, Brooke Decker hit a corner three giving the Cougars an 18-13 lead. North Central hung around for a majority of the first half, but the Cougars held a ten point lead with two minutes left. Minnesota Morris ended the half on a 14-0 run to take a 37-18 lead in to the break.

Emily Auch led the way with nine first half points to go along with her nine rebounds. Morris outrebounded the Rams 33-14 in first half. Morris had 18 points in the paint, and Wycoff added nine first half points as well.

Minnesota Morris extended their lead to 30 with a 21-10 run out of halftime. The lead grew to 36 with five minutes left in the game as the Cougars coasted to an 84-45 win. Morris finished with a 40-14 advantage in points in the paint. The Cougars bench added 43 points on Friday night.

UM-Morris 67, Northwestern 54 The Cougars (15-6, 7-3 UMAC) are in sole possession of first place after a convincing 67-54 win over Northwestern (14-7, 9-1 UMAC). Tori Holt led the way with 16 points off the bench. Emily Auch added a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

It was tight first half as the Eagles held a 16-14 lead with 9:24 left on the clock. The Cougars defense stepped up and held Northwestern without another field goal the rest of the half. The offense added 12 points and took a 26-17 lead into the break.

Holt had eight of her points in the first half. Morris outrebounded the Eagles 33-18 in the first half and had nine second chance points. Northwestern shot just 24.1 percent in the first half and just 2-11 from three.

Out of the halftime break, Morris pushed the lead to 16 at 35-19. The Eagles only managed to pull within eight the rest of the game as the Cougars countered every time Northwestern picked up a basket.

Maja Coomes added eight points off the bench for the Cougars. The Morris bench had 31 points on the afternoon, proving to be a big spark for the Cougars. Kayla Kraemer had nine points and Abby Fragodt had 15 rebounds and seven points. Fragodt hit her first three of the year on Saturday.

Thanks to a Martin Luther victory over St. Scholastica the Cougars are all alone in the UMAC with four games to go. They also clinched a spot in the UMAC Tournament on Saturday afternoon, five games ahead of the fifth place team with four games to play.

The Cougars next game will be at Northland College and St. Scholastica on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15.

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