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Cougar women split MIAC-UMAC Challenge games

The University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team split a pair of games at the MIAC-UMAC Challenge, falling to St. Benedict 78-43, but defeating St. Catherine's 83-67.

The Cougars got down early and never recovered Friday, falling 78-43 to host St. Benedict.

Morris shot just 25 percent from the field, while St. Ben's countered with a 48 percent mark, including a 44 percent clip from behind the arc as they cruised to the win. In the second half, the Blazers outscored the Cougars 41-18, including an 8-0 run to open the half and an 11-0 run through the middle of the period.

In addition to their struggles from the field, the Cougars finished just 3-of-20 from three-point range and 10-of-19 from the free-throw line. Morris had trouble just getting to the line in the first half, with only two attempts before the break.

The Cougars were led by Emily Mehr who finished with 13 points. She also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, leading the Cougars to 30 boards.

After 25 points in her debut on Tuesday, freshman Kendra Wykoff backed it up with 11 against the Blazers, hitting two of the Cougars' three three-pointers along the way.

The MIAC had the upper hand on the night, as St. Catherine's also scored a 69-63 win over St. Scholastica in the night's other game.

The Cougars bounced back in a big way Saturday, scoring an 83-67 win over St. Catherine's.

Mehr led the way once again scoring a season-high 20 points, one of four Cougars in double figures. She was joined by Jenni Noordmans with 13, Alyssa Silva with 12, and Karlee Erickson with 11. All four players charted career season highs for scoring.

As a team the Cougars shot 45 percent from the field, while holding St. Kate's to just a 36-percent mark. St. Kate's had the edge on the boards with 42 to the Cougars' 37, but committed 21 turnovers that led to 19 UMM points.

After St. Kate's scored the game's first basket, the Cougars ran off 11 straight to take a nine-point lead at the 16:04 mark after a Kelsey Erickson free throw.

St. Kate's battled back to regain the lead, and the two teams played even for the rest of the half, with the lead changing hands five total times. It was not until a Karlee Erickson three-pointer with 2:21 left put the Cougars up 33-30, that they took the lead for good.

The Cougars shot 47 percent in the second half, and went up double digits less than three minutes in. They stretched the lead to as much as 24 on two occasions, and had runs of 10 and nine straight points as they cruised to the win.

The Cougars improve to 2-1 on the season. In the day's other game, St. Ben's topped St. Scholastica 95-46.