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Cougar women come back to top Comets, 83-73

The University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team overcame a slow start Friday, Dec. 10 to notch one of the Cougars' best games of the season, charting an 83-73 win over Mayville State.

Needing a strong performance, the Cougars returned to the friendly borders of Jim Gremmels Court, where they are now 3-1 on the season, including two of their best offensive performances in their last two outings. 

After a slow start against the Comets, the Cougars regrouped to shoot nearly 52 percent, and put up their second-highest scoring game of the season.

It wouldn't come easy though, as UMM had to overcome an early, double-digit deficit in the first half. The Cougars dropped a 78-68 decision the first time these two teams met, and after the Comets took a 12-point lead in the first half, it looked like it would be more of the same.

Leading the charge for the Cougars was Steph Roggenbuck, who hade her second best night of the season, finishing with 23 points on a 9-of-15 night from the floor, and a 5-of-6 night at the free-throw line. During a three-minute stretch in the first half, Roggenbuck scored all eight of her first-half points as the Cougars mounted their comeback.

Then in the second half, she really hit her stride, scoring 15 points as UMM put the game away.

The Cougars closed the half on a feverish rally, outscoring the Comets 21-6 over a five-and-a-half minute span. With six minutes to go, UMM trailed 10 at 30-20, but after a pair of Abby Fragodt free throws, they had their biggest lead of the night at five points, up 41-36.

The Cougars were set to take their five-point lead into halftime, after Comet guard Eli Cosme-Gonalez appeared to have wasted the clock away. However, after a loose-ball scramble, a foul was called on the Cougars with just 0:00.7 left on the clock, sending Cosme-Gonzalez to the line. She made one of two and the Cougars led by four at the break, 41-37.

Fragodt played a major part in the end of the Cougars run as they overtook the lead. With the Cougars down by one, Fragodt came up with a big block on the defensive end, and on the ensuing trip down the floor collected a loose ball in the corner before giving an assist to Tara Theilke for the go-ahead points.

Fragodt then scored four straight points on a lay-up and two free throws to cap the Cougars' run.

The Cougars .519 mark from the field was their best of the season by 35 percentage points, as was their .400 mark from the three-point zone. They tied a season high with eight from long range on the night, including two from Diane Blommel to get the Cougars jump-started early.

The Comets sprinted out to a 9-0 lead and held UMM off the board until there were nearly four minutes off the game clock

Blommel finally got the Cougars going, hitting a pair of big threes to get UMM on the board. She went on to finish with 10 points, one of three players in double figures, joining Emily Mehr with 14, and Roggenbuck.

Back at the .500 mark at 4-4, the Cougars will get to stay home, where fortunes have been good, as they look to go 5-4. On Dec. 17, UMM hosts Valley City State in a 5:30 tilt, in their last action before the holiday break.