Both Cougar Squads Open UMAC Play With A Win 07 Dec 17

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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
MORRIS, Minn. – Minnesota Morris held Crown to just 17.6 percent shooting from the floor as they dominated the Storm, 72-33, in a women’s basketball UMAC-opening contest for both teams Wednesday night at Jim Gremmels Court.

In addition to their stellar defense around the hoop, the Cougars held the Storm to just 6 percent shooting from beyond the arc (1-for-17).

The Cougars scored the game’s first 14 points in the game’s first four minutes as their defense led to easy transition baskets. They took a 21-9 lead after one quarter.

UMM outscored Crown, 26-7, in the second quarter as they took a 31-point lead at halftime. The lead reached 20 for the first time following an Elli Stevenson 3, a Kendra Raths lay-in, and a Stevenson lay-in. Later, a Cougar 10-0 run gave UMM a 30-point lead at 42-12. 

The Cougars lead would not get below 30 throughout the second half. They held Crown to single-digit scoring in each quarter and no Crown player reached double-digits in scoring. Stevenson led the Cougars with 19 points. Bailey Miller scored 13 and Raths added 10. Abby Van Kempen had a near double-double with nine points and 17 rebounds.

Minnesota Morris (1-7, 1-0 in UMAC) next plays Saturday at UW-Superior.

MEN’S BASKETBALL
MORRIS, Minn. – Minnesota Morris built a big halftime lead and withheld a late charge from Crown to gain a 94-86 victory in a UMAC men’s basketball opener Wednesday night at Jim Gremmels Court.

In search of their first win of the season, the Cougars came out strong after the opening tip and surged to a 10-0 lead four minutes in. All five made baskets were lay-ins as UMM combined pressure defense with great transition offense. The lead swelled to 15 following a 7-0 run to make it 20-5 nearly seven minutes in. The first half lead got to as high as 22 following a CD Douglas jumper and free throws from James Pendleton. Noah Grove ended the half with a jumper in the closing seconds that gave UMM a 49-29 lead going into the break.

The Cougars continued to build their lead early in the second half. A Jeremy Halverson 3 and a Douglas jumper gave the Cougars a 26-point lead at 57-31 a minute and a half into the second half.

UMM maintained at least a 20-point edge for the next 11 minutes before Crown began to make their rally. They cut the Cougar lead to 9 at 82-73 with three minutes remaining and got to within 4 at 88-84 with 1:26 left. Grove and Douglas held onto the Cougar lead by making all six of their free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.

Grove and Douglas each went 8-for-17 from the floor. Grove led with 28 points while Douglas scored 27. Halverson added 15 points.

Minnesota Morris (1-7, 1-0 in UMAC) travels to play UW-Superior Saturday in Superior.