Noordmans, Mehr named All-UMAC in women's basketball
The University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team was well represented on the All-Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) teams.
Voted on by the league coaches, Tim Grove led the way for the Cougars as he was voted UMAC Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season. Senior Jenni Noordmans and junior Emily Mehr were each named First Team All-UMAC, while freshman Kendra Wycoff was named the league's Co-Freshman of the Year, also claiming Honorable Mention All-UMAC honors.
Wycoff shared Freshman of the Year honors with Mariah Hovik (College of St. Scholastica), while Noordmans and Mehr make the Cougars the only team with two players on the first team. Martin Luther shared the regular season title with the Cougars, and earns the conference's Player of the Year in senior Erica Babinec.
Grove ends his sixth year at the helm of the program with his third straight UMAC title. He led the Cougars to a 12-2 league record, capping a three-year run where his teams went 39-3 against league foes. This season the Cougars were a mere two possessions away from their second straight perfect season, as a buzzer beater by Martin Luther gave them their first loss, and a last second basket by St. Scholastica forced overtime where the Saints eventually won.
After the two disappointing losses, however, the Cougars regrouped to run perfect through the second half of the league season, finishing as the UMAC leader in scoring offense (76.6), scoring margin (+17.3), field goal percentage (44%), three-point percentage (37%), assists (18.0), turnover margin (+4.6), and assist-turnover ratio (1.3). Grove also coached the league leader in free-throw shooting, and assist turnover ratio.
The Cougar's two first team honorees each claim the honor for the first time in their careers, with Mehr earning Honorable Mention honors last season, and Second Team honors as a freshman. Earning All-UMAC accolades for the first time, Noordmans also lands on the All-Defensive team for the third straight year.
Mehr had a career season as a junior, leading the Cougars in scoring at 18.4 points per game, while finishing second in the conference in UMAC games at 20.4. As the Cougars made their run to their third straight UMAC title, Mehr was their catalyst, scoring at least 15 points over the last 13 UMAC games, including twice topping the 30-point mark.
During the season's final four weeks, she was named UMAC Player of the Week three times. She scored her 1,000th career point on Feb. 11, scoring 20 first half points in a route of Northwestern.
Noordmans saved her best for last as a senior, posting career highs across the board to finish her career as a three-time champion. She was second on the team in scoring at 11.6, while ranking 11th in the UMAC at 13.0 in conference games. Three times she went over the 20-point mark, including her first career double double in the first-round playoff win over St. Scholastica.
Noordmans was also given the UMAC Sportsmanship Award, for best exemplifying sportsmanship throughout the season.
Wycoff gives the Cougars the UMAC's best freshman for the second time in three years, with Mehr winning the award after the 2009-10 season. Wycoff made a big debut, scoring 25 points in the first game of the season, before averaging 11.4 on the year and 12.1 in conference games to rank 12th.
The Cougars went 18-8 overall on the season, reaching 18 wins for the third straight year. After advancing to the UMAC Tournament championship game for the second straight year, their season game to an end Feb. 25 with a hard fought 69-63 loss to their fellow regular-season champion Martin Luther.