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Cougar women out score North Central by 26

The University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team followed their strongest performance of the season, a 24-point win at Presentation, with a 91-65 victory over North Central Tuesday at home.

The first five minutes of the game belonged to Steph Roggenbuck who scored the Cougars' first nine points, six in the paint and one long three-pointer, to build a seven-point margin for the Cougars.

UMM employed full court pressure to keep the Rams off balance, forcing them to commit 15 first-half turnovers, many of which resulted in Cougar points. Guard Nikki Washek started a Cougar run with a breakaway layup off a midcourt steal at the 8:46 mark.

Off the bench, the Hancock guard duo of Tara Thielke and Jenni Noordmans combined for four three-pointers, extending the UMM lead to double digits midway through the first half and a 45-33 halftime edge.

The Cougars recorded 12 assists in the first half, three apiece from Roggenbuck, Washek, and guard Kelsey Erickson.

North Central managed to stay close due to their shooting. In the first half they made 13 of 21 for 62 percent, including three for three from three-point range.

The Rams bolted out in the second half, cutting the Cougar lead to six early via some UMM turnovers. But the Cougars regained their composure and quickly stretched the lead to 10 points again, a cushion they maintained for most of the second half.

Coach Tim Grove spread the action around as all 13 Cougars saw playing time.

UMM shot 54 percent for the game. Roggenbuck finished with a team-high 20 points and seven rebounds. Five Cougars scored in double digits including Thielke with 13, Noordmans with 11, and Emily Mehr and Nikki Washek with 10 apiece.

UMM improved to 8-6 and will take on Crown and Northwestern this weekend in the Cities.