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Emily Mehr leads Cougars to overtime win

Behind an MVP caliber performance and career-high 30 points from Emily Mehr, the University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team scored a tough 84-76 overtime win at Bethany Lutheran Saturday.

With the win, the Cougars improve to 12-8 overall and 8-2 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, just a game back of first-place Martin Luther in the conference standings, while the Vikings at 6-13 and 5-5 remain tied with Northland for the fourth and final spot.

Mehr took control of the game in the second half and overtime - scoring 16 of her 30 - including the game-tying basket at the end of regulation to keep the Cougars alive. She beat her previous career high of 27 set last season, and became the first Cougar to score 30 since Nikki Washek on Jan. 30, 2009.

After overcoming a deficit of 10 points in the first half to take a two-point lead into halftime at 39-37, the Cougars again found themselves down late in the second. The Vikings went up on a three-pointer right away in the second, led by as much as six, and regained the lead at 69-67 with just 1:43 to go. Then, after the teams traded missed shots and turnovers, Mehr hit the tying shot with just 46 second left, eventually sending the game to overtime. She actually had a chance to win it with three seconds to go, but her shot didn't fall.

It's the second straight night the Cougars put themselves in an early hole, but for the second consecutive night, they fought their way back. It's also their second overtime game in the last week, but this time with a different result as they come out on the winning end.

Mehr wasn't all alone in the scoring column, as Jenni Noordmans added a season-high 23.

Also aiding in the effort was Alyssa Silva with 10 points, while Abby Fragodt pulled down 10 rebounds.

Mehr became just the second 30-point scorer in the UMAC this season. She tops the 300 mark for the season and currently sits with 931 in her career with five games left in the regular season.

The Cougars will take a quick break from UMAC play on Tuesday when they travel to North Central for a 5:30 p.m. tilt, but then this weekend they start a four-game home stretch to close out the season. They host Crown on Feb. 10 and Northwestern on Feb. 11 as they continue on their quest for their third straight UMAC title. Game times are 5:30 and 3:00, respectively.