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Cougar women open basketball season with win

The University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball picked up right where they left off last season, with a 77-45 win over North Central in the season opener Tuesday.

The Cougars' offense was able to put up points early and often in the first half. Morris scored 42 in the first 20 minutes, and kept the Rams in check by only allowing 15 points. The biggest lead of the first half for the Cougars came on a Kendra Wycoff three-pointer with 1:15 left when they put North Central in a 27-point hole going into the break.

Wykoff led the way for the Cougars in her first career game, coming off the bench to score a game-high 25 points, while spending 22 minutes on the floor.

In the second half it was more of the same story, with the Cougar offense running on all cylinders and defense shutting down the Rams. The Cougars shot 42 percent from the floor, while holding the Rams to a 34 percent clip.

Emily Mehr continued her success from last season, scoring 18 points to go with eight rebounds. Jenni Noordmans added 10 points, with Abby Fragodt pulling down eight boards. However, the big story was Wycoff who did her damage on 9-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-8 from three-point land.

Wycoff was good for half of the Cougars' eight three-pointers in the game, with the team also going 13-of-18 from the free-throw line.

Morris held North Central to a mere 2-of-8 from long range, while also out-rebounding the Rams 43-30.

With their win, the Cougars have now won the past 19 of their 22, and will look to continue that success when they take part in the MIAC-UMAC Challenge this weekend in St. Joesph. Morris will take on St. Benedict Friday and St. Catherine on Saturday. The games will be played at 8 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, with St. Scholastica also in action to round out the UMAC representation.