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Cougar women win at Presentation

University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball coach Tim Grove faced a former Cougar Thursday at Aberdeen S.D. and came home with a 74-51 win.

Former player and 2007 graduate Alaina Benson is in her first year as the head women's coach at Presentation College.

With the win, the Cougars are now 4-1 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (tied for second with Northwestern) and 7-6 overall.

They host North Central tonight in non-conference action.

After a lackluster opening 12 minutes, the Cougars came alive late in the first half (sparked by guard Nikki Washek's hustle and Tara Thielke's long-range shooting) and never looked back.

UMM was paced by Steph Roggenbuck's double-double night of 15 points and 13 rebounds, both team highs.

The Cougars kept the UMAC's point leader--Presentation's Sara Gregersen--four points below her season average.

The Saints built an early lead in the first half and the Cougars soon fell behind by six points, trailing 24-18 with eight minutes remaining.

After UMM turned the ball over on a five-second inbound call, Grove called a timeout.

"There's no excuse for a five call on an inbounds," Grove said after the game. "If you get that call, you're just not cutting hard enough.

"I don't think it was so much what I said, but how I said it," Grove said after the game about his timeout pep talk.

The Cougars retook the floor with renewed vigor. Washek hit a three-pointer and then stole the ball on the next possession and drove in for a three-point play. After converting the free throw, the Cougars suddenly led 25-24. Thielke made two three pointers and the Cougars went into halftime leading 32-25, finishing on an 11-0 run.

Thielke was a perfect three for three on three pointers in the first half.

In the early second half, the Cougars stretched their lead. Thielke's fourth three-pointer made it 44-27 at the 15:30 mark. Meanwhile, the Saints struggled to get good shots as the Cougar defense left few open spots. Presentation shot only eight of 26 in the second half and just 36 percent for the game.

The Cougars shut down the Saints inside, keeping Gregersen away from the basket and outrebounding Presentation 41-29.

"We pressured her a lot, made sure she worked for her points," said Roggenbuck.

The Cougars increased their lead to as much as 24 before closing out the win