The Cougars forced 30 turnovers from the Yellowjackets on Friday to pick up the narrow victory.
MORRIS, Minn.– The University of Minnesota Morris women’s basketball team needed just about every single one of the 30 turnovers they forced from the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Friday night to come away with a 72-68 victory. The Cougars also made 23-of-28 free throws on the night, including 11-of-12 in the final quarter. With the victory, Minnesota Morris improves to 10-14 (7-6 UMAC).
UW-Superior took an early 11-6 lead in the first quarter before Minnesota Morris flipped things around with a 10-0 run to take a five-point lead of its own. Justine Day was in the middle of the action right away, coming off the bench and scoring five during that run. From there, the Cougars were able to carry a 20-18 lead into the second quarter.
A 6-0 run from Minnesota Morris in the waning minutes of the first half put the Cougars ahead, 35-31. Haley Wollschlager started the run and Lexie Winter drained a long two-point jumper to nose UMN Morris ahead. Day knocked down a pair at the line to complete the run. Day’s free throws with just about 90 seconds left proved to be all the scoring the Cougars would get heading into halftime. UW-Superior scored the last five of the second quarter, including a third-effort putback from Allison Luoma just before the horn to give the Yellowjackets a 36-35 halftime advantage.
Minnesota Morris started the third quarter well and were able to take as much as a six-point lead before UW-Superior rallied back. An 8-1 spurt from the Yellowjackets down the stretch kept them out in front, 51-50, going into the final 10 minutes.
The fourth quarter was a battle throughout and it took until the final minute for Minnesota Morris to get over the hump and put UW-Superior away. After Jay Kwateh tied the game at 63-63 with a pair from the charity stripe with 1:37 remaining, a three-pointer from Kaelyn Christian gave the Yellowjackets a 66-63 edge with 1:16 to play. The Cougars didn’t force a three, instead going inside with a layup from Lexus Eagle Chasing to cut the deficit to one. On the next possession, Jadyn Sondrol got a steal and drove the length of the court to put the Cougars ahead, 67-66, with 48 ticks left.
A free throw from Ella Van Kempen with 12 seconds remaining increased the Minnesota Morris lead to two, 68-66. UW-Superior was fouled on the other end with just six seconds left, but Luoma missed both free throws and Eagle Chasing sealed it with four free throws inside the final five seconds.
Eagle Chasing led all scorers in the game with 20 points, finishing 12-of-14 from the line. Day also reached double-figures for Minnesota Morris, ending with 11. Van Kempen had nine points, while Kwateh, Sondrol, and Malory Anderson all wrapped up the game with eight points apiece.
The Cougars close out the regular season tomorrow afternoon with Senior Day against Northland College beginning at 3 p.m. The results around the UMAC tomorrow will determine the matchups for the UMAC Tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday night. Minnesota Morris is already locked into the No. 4 seed and will host a quarterfinal that night at 7 p.m. against an opponent to be determined.