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The UMM players and coaches pose with the "UMAC Champion" banner after the win over Bethany Lutheran on Friday night. (UMM Sports Information)

Cougars clinch UMAC Championship outright

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UMM Sports Information

UM-Morris 67, Bethany Lutheran 52

The University of Minnesota, Morris women (15-9, 12-1 UMAC) earned the outright UMAC Championship on Friday, Feb. 21, thanks to a 67-52 win over Bethany Lutheran (8-16, 5-8 UMAC). It is the Cougars fifth straight conference championship under head coach Tim Grove.

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Minnesota Morris started the game on an 11-0 run, seven by Wycoff. The Vikings did not recover quickly and the Cougars lead grew to as large as 19 in the first half. Bethany Lutheran was able to cut the lead to 11 prior to the half time break.

For the first time since early in the first half the Vikings were able to cut the lead to single digits just eight seconds into the second half. Morris doubled that lead six minutes later on a Tori Holt layup. Bethany never fully recovered from the UMM rally and never got any closer than nine the rest of the game.

The Cougars had a trio of offensive stars on the night: Wycoff, Holt and Emily Auch all had double digit scoring nights. Auch led all UMM players with 16 points. Wycoff added 15 points and Holt had 12. Holt also added seven rebounds. Abby Fragodt had 14 rebounds on the night, leading the team in that category; she is now 12 rebounds shy of 900 career rebounds.

UM-Morris 71, Martin Luther 55

UMM finished the UMAC regular season by pulling away from Martin Luther (13-12, 10-4 UMAC) on Saturday afternoon, winning the game 71-55. With the win and the combination of a St. Scholastica win, Morris will take on Martin Luther, again, on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the P. E. Center.

Holt had a dominating performance scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, both career highs. The Cougars held a 36-18 advantage in points in the paint during the victory. The bench poured in 28 points. Auch also had a double-double on the day, picking up 11 points and 11 boards. Wycoff had a game high 18 points on 6-8 shooting. As a team UMM shot 83.3 percent from the foul line, hitting 20 of their 24 attempts.

The game was very tight throughout the first twenty minutes of game play. Martin Luther slowly built up a six point lead with just about five minutes left in the half. Minnesota Morris cut that lead to one but the Knights quickly pushed it back to five. The Cougars ended the half on a 7-3 run pulling within one at the break.

Auch gave the Cougars a lead out of the halftime break but that lead did not last very long. The game was tied for the third time after a layup from Holt with 14:16 left, but Morris could not break free at the moment. Minutes later they began a 17-2 run and took a 14 point lead with 5:33 left in the contest. The Knights never recovered and Minnesota Morris picked up the victory to sweep the weekend 2-0 for the fourth weekend in a row.

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