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Cougar women win 18th straight UMAC game

The University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team won a pair of Upper Midwest Athletic Conference games and a non-league game to improve to 10-6 this season.

The Cougars are undefeated in the conference at 5-0, while winning their 18th straight UMAC game.

UMM now has a six-game winning streak and has won seven of the past nine games overall.

UM-Morris 75

Bethany 48

The Cougars scored a 75-48 win over host Bethany Lutheran on Jan. 21. The Vikings lost their second straight after opening the conference season with back-to-back wins.

After a back-and-forth first half that took a Brandi Cresap free throw with one second left to give the Cougars a 32-27 halftime lead, UMM opened up the second half on a 24-to-9 run over the first 9:13 of the half to put the game away.

A three-pointer from the Vikings opened the second-half scoring, but from there the Cougars scored 10 straight to take a 42-30 lead at the 16:44 mark, capped by a bucket from Emily Mehr. Mehr finished with 10 points and was one of three players in double figures.

During the Cougars' second-half run, they got 12 points from scoring leader Steph Roggenbuck, part of her game-high 24. Her scoring total was her second best of the year, and top mark since 25 in the season opener.

Later in the half, Roggenbuck hit a pair of free throws to stretch the lead to 26, before Alyssa Silva closed the game with a three-point play to spread the margin to its biggest of the night at 27 at 75-48.

Tara Thielke chipped in 16, her second straight game in double figures and the fourth time she's had 15 or more in the last six games.

The game opened with back-and-forth play after Roggenbuck hit one of her three three-pointers to open the game. The lead then changed hands eight times in the first 9:58, before the Cougars took the lead for good at the 10:02 mark. When they did, it was Roggenbuck with a lay-up to give UMM a one-point lead at 17-16 they would never relinquish.

The Cougars outrebounded the Vikings 42-37, paced by a career high 11 from freshman Abby Fragodt. The 42 boards were a season high for UMM, bettering the 41 they pulled down the last time out in the win over Crown.

The Cougars also forced the Vikings into 17 turnovers - while committing just 10 - and turned the takeaways into 21 points, including 15 in the second half.

UM-Morris 81

Martin Luther 59

The Cougars put together another second-half surge that led to an 81-59 win Jan. 22 over host Martin Luther.

The Cougars led the entire way, but took just a five-point advantage into the locker rooms at 30-25. In the second half they turned up the heat and shot 68 percent (19-of-28) from the field while turning the game into a runaway.

Martin Luther struggled from the floor, making just 32 percent (20-of-62) of their field goals, and hit at a mere 59 percent (13-of-22) clip from the free-throw line.

The Cougars held the Knights to a 30 percent shooting mark in the first half - limiting them to just nine field goals. UMM opened the game on an 11-0 run, capped by a Roggenbuck lay-up at the 16:19 mark. Less than two minutes later, it was Roggenbuck again, this time with a three to stretch the lead to its biggest of the half at 14-2 with 14:50 left to play.

From there the Knights began to chip away, and twice got the score within three, including at the 2:47 mark after they scored five straight points to close the gap.

Cresap quickly answered with a three on the other end to put her team up six, and at the end of the half a Roggenbuck free throw ended the scoring.

Roggenbuck finished with a game high 23 points, including 12 in the first half, while Cresap ended the night with six points, as well as a game-high six assists.

After the Knights opened the scoring in the second half, the Cougars responded and quickly went up by 14 points with a 13-3 run, stamped by a Jenni Noordmans three that made the score 43-29 at the 16:23 mark.

From there the Cougars put it in cruise control, leading by double digits nearly the entire way.

UM-Morris 91

Trinity Bible 48

The Cougars defeated Trinity Bible College 91-48 Tuesday, Jan. 25 at home.

The Cougars started the game by taking a 20-9 lead within the first 6:51 of the game. The Lions were able to get things going and reduce the deficit to three points with 8:53 left in the first half, but the Cougars responded with a run of their own. The Cougars outscored the Lions 26-11 in the final 8:53 of the first half to take a 48-30 advantage into halftime.

In the second half, the Cougars continued where they left off. The Cougar offense continued the intensity and the defense kept the Lion offense quiet. The offense scored 48 points while the defense only gave up 18 in the second half.

All of the Cougars got into the mix by at least playing 10 minutes or more and scoring at least once. Leading the way for UMM was Roggenbuck with 24 points. Roggenbuck has scored at least 20 points in four of the past seven games and is now just 40 points shy of scoring her 1,000th point in her career at UMM. Earlier this season she eclipsed her 1,000 point as a collegiate player. Roggenbuck leads the team with 274 points this season. 

Also getting in on the mix on the offensive side of the ball were Thielke and Mehr who each had 11 points.

Overall, the Cougars shot 55.2 percent (32-of-58) from the floor and held the Lions to 36.4 percent (16-of-44). The 91 points scored by UMM was second highest this season, only to the 95 points they just scored against Crown. As a defense, the Cougars posted a season best in allowing TBC to only 44 field goal attempts, while the 48 points they gave up is third best this season.

UMM went 17-of-23 on the line, while TBC was 10-of-12. Also, UMM was 10-of-19 from the three-point line. They also held the Lions to just a 6-of-18 mark from behind the arc. 

The Cougars had four players who made at least two three-pointers with Thielke leading the team in threes by going 3-of-3 from long range. She is now 34-of-74 from the three-point line, leading the team in both categories. 

UMM out-rebounded TBC 34-24 and only had 16 turnovers compared to the Lions' 27. The Cougars had 13 steals, which is third best this season.