MORRIS - Needing 19 points to reach 1,000 in her career, the Cougars' Emily Mehr scored 20 in the first half as the University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team cruised to an 85-52 win over Northwestern Saturday.
The milestone basket came with 3:08 still to play in the first half, sending the crowd in the P.E. Center into hysterics. Mehr was nearly perfect in the first 20 minutes. She went 9-of-11 from the field in the half, including a 2-of-2 mark from long range to lead her team to a 51-29 halftime lead.
Head coach Tim Grove called timeout after the basket, while Mehr was surrounded by her teammates at center court and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Mehr led to Cougars to a 66.7 percent (20-of-30) first half from the field that included a blazing 75 percent (9-of-12) from three-point range. She finished with 28, scoring at least 23 for the fourth straight game, and becomes just the 20th player in program history to score at least 1,000, sitting with 1,009 with two games left in the regular season.
She was one of four players to finish in double figures in the game, joined by Jenni Noordmans with 16, Kendra Wycoff with 15, and Alyssa Silva with 10.
For the second straight night, Grove was able to empty his bench, with eight different players finding the basket.
Northwestern gave the Cougars a run in their first meeting - losing by just four points - but they were no match for Morris at home. Their 10 first-half turnovers translated into 12 Cougar points, but it was UMM's nine threes that really spelled the difference.
In addition to Mehr, Wycoff did all her damage in the first half, going 5-of-5 from behind the arc. In the second half, the Cougars led by at least 20 the entire way.
With Martin Luther also winning, the Cougars remain tied in first place, with just two games left to go.
Their next test will also be a chance to avenge their second loss on the season, as they host St. Scholastica on Friday. The Saints got the better of the Cougars in overtime in their first meeting this season in Duluth. A win over St. Scholastica would also clinch a home game for Morris in the first round of the UMAC Tournament. The Cougars and Saints will tip off at 5:30 p.m. on Jim Gremmels Court