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Cougar women hold off Eagle rally in 82-78 win

After taking a 14-point lead into halftime, the University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team held on for an 82-78 road win over Northwestern Friday in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) action.

The Cougars shot 50 percent (13-of-26) in the first half to build up a 40-26 lead, and overcame a blazing 75 percent (21-of-28) second half from the Eagles to secure the win.

Morris got 20 points from the bench and scored 25 points off 13 Northwestern turnovers to hand the Eagles their first conference loss.

The Eagles opened the second half on a 20-9 tear, and got to within three less than eight minutes into the period, before tying the score at 58-58 just past the midway point.

The Cougars, though, would never trail and quickly returned their lead to six points after consecutive three-pointers from Emily Mehr.

Mehr finished as one of four Cougars in double figures, scoring 15 points on the strength of a 3-of-4 mark from long range.

She was joined on the leader board by Alyssa Silva and Jenni Noordmans who each finished with season-high marks of 17 points. And for Silva, the 17 points marked a career high, bettering the 13 she netted late last season against Martin Luther. Abby Fragodt was the final player in double figures, finishing with 10 points while also adding a team-high seven rebounds.

The Cougars finished with 32 boards, outpacing the Eagles who finished with just 26, the lowest for a Morris opponent all season.

The win was the 27th straight in conference play for the Cougars, and sixth in a row over Northwestern after three straight last season