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Cougars' unbeaten UMAC season ends in overtime

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The University of Minnesota, Morris came up just short in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference women's basketball tournament Wednesday after completing a 20-point comeback, falling 83-78 in overtime to St. Scholastica.

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The Saints shot 57.1 percent in the first half as they built a big lead.

Emily Mehr had 26 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Cougars.

St. Scholastica jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the opening three minutes of play. UMM closed the gap to four points on two occasions shortly after, but CSS went on an 11-0 run to extend the lead to 24-9 halfway through the first half.

Morris cut the lead to six at 35-29 with 30 seconds left, but the Saints hit a three pointer just before halftime to take a 38-29 lead in to the break.

The Saints increased the lead to 12 early in the second half before a 9-0 run by the Cougars cut the lead to three, thanks to five points from Kendra Wycoff. However, St. Scholastica again responded going on a 9-2 run to extend the lead to 10 at 52-42.

Trailing by eight at 57-49 with 8:23 left, Cori Becker scored the next eight points for the Cougars to cut the lead to four with just under five minutes left. CSS hit a three pointer to increase their lead to seven before the Cougars scored eight straight points to take their first lead of the game at 65-64 with 1:15 left.

Mehr and Kelsey Erickson, the two Cougar seniors, each had four points during the late game run.

St. Scholastica hit one of two free throws on the next possession to tie the game at 65 with 55 seconds left. Abby Fragodt missed the front end of a one and one giving CSS a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. They missed a shot with 18 seconds left, but picked up an offensive board giving them a second chance; that shot too came up short as the game moved into overtime.

As the overtime period started the Saints opened up the scoring, but Wycoff responded to give the Cougars the lead on the next possession. It would be the Cougars’ final lead of the game as St. Scholastica went on a 12-2 run to take a 77-68 lead with 1:25 left.

Morris cut the lead to six with 25 seconds left and after a CSS turnover Mehr hit a layup to make it 80-76 with 14 seconds left. The Saints hit three of their next four free throws to ice the victory.

Becker finished the game with 12 points off the bench for UMM. Wycoff and Kraemer each finished with 11 points.

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