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Cougar women stay unbeaten in UMAC play

The University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team is the last to remain undefeated in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The Cougars are 3-0 in the early conference schedule and 7-6 overall this season.

UM-Morris 65

Northwestern 52

The Cougars put up a 20-point halftime lead on their way to a 65-52 victory over visiting Northwestern Friday.

After a slow start by both teams, the Cougars opened up a 13-0 lead before the Eagles finally got on the board at the 10:51 mark of the first half. UMM led by double digits the rest of the half, and three different times had their lead stretch to 20 points.

The Cougars held the Eagles to just a 3-of-22 (14 percent) shooting mark from the field in the first half, while hitting 13 of 30 (43 percent) of their own field goals. Northwestern finished just 15-of-50 (30 percent) from the field, while UMM was 27-of-56 (48 percent).

After an Alyssa Silva three-pointer put UMM up 5-0 at the 14:30 mark, the Cougars began to roll.

They were paced by Steph Roggenbuck with a balanced game. She tallied her second double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, with five boards on each side of the court, and an 8-of-16 shooting mark from the floor. She made the only three-pointer she took, and was 2-of-2 in her only trip to the line. She dished out a game high six assists.

Outside of a nine-and-eight performance in the second game of the season, Roggenbuck has scored in double figures in every other game. Entering the game sixth in the league in scoring at 15.0 points per game, she was second only to Northwestern's Megan Myhre in field goal percentage with a .538 mark to Myhre's .544. Tonight Myhre was held to just six points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field.

Also scoring in double figures was Jenni Noordmans who scored the Cougars' final six points of the first half on her way to 15, her second best performance of the season. Noordmans also added four rebounds, and was one of five players with at least four, as the Cougars out-rebounded the Eagles 36-22, the least they've allowed all season.

While UMM controlled the boards, they also controlled the scoring in the paint, to the tune of a 34-12 margin.

Part of that control in the low post was provided by Emily Mehr who joined the scoring leaders with 10 points, including a three pointer to open scoring in the second half and stretch the Cougars lead to 23.  Three minutes later, a lay-up from Noordmans pushed the lead to its biggest of the night at 24, with the score 43-19.

The Cougars saw 13 different players take the court, with eight factoring into the scoring. 

UM-Morris 95

Crown 33

The Cougars cruised to a 95-33 win over Crown Saturday on Jim Gremmels Court.

The winless Crown team has struggled all season and got down early and never recovered as the Cougars posted their best offensive performance of the season. All thirteen Cougars played 11 or more minutes, and all scored at least once.

The Cougars shot at a 63 percent (19-of-30) clip in the first half, and ran out to a 52-21 halftime lead. They cooled off in the second half, but still finished at 59 percent (37-of-63), their best mark of the season.

The 95 points were easily a season high, and the 33 allowed for Crown were a season low. Also setting new marks for season highs were the Cougars' 58 percent mark from behind the arc, 41 rebounds, 31 assists, and seven blocks. With seven turnovers, and seven fouls, they set new lows for the 2010-11 campaign.

After being held scoreless Friday, Tara Thielke flipped the switch, leading all scorers with 18 points in just 16 minutes of play. She finished 7-of-8 from the field, including a perfect 5-of-5 from inside the arc. She nailed her only two free throws and added a pair of assists and three steals to her effort.

Roggenbuck joined Thielke in double figures, scoring 14, while Abby Fragodt chipped in 13 with perfect 6-of-6 shooting.

The Storm actually led twice inside the first five minutes, taking a 5-2 lead at 18:16 and an 8-7 advantage at 16:33. It was not until an Emily Mehr three pointer at 15:53 made the score 10-8, that the Cougars had the lead for good.

Late in the first half the Cougars stretched their lead to as much as 36 while holding the Storm scoreless for nearly seven minutes, until Crown scored in the final five minutes of the period. Thielke and Roggenbuck each went to the locker rooms already in double figures, with 11 and 10, respectively.

The Cougars opened the second half on a 29-2 run and also had a stretch where they held the Storm without a field goal for nearly 12 minutes. 

UMM travels to Bethany Lutheran next week when UMAC play resumes on Jan. 21. Tip-off in Mankato is set for 5:30 p.m.