MORRIS, Minn. – Matching up for the second time in three days, the No. 4-seeded UMN Morris women’s basketball team (17-9) held off the fifth-seeded North Central Rams (12-14), 69-65, Monday night inside the Cougar Sports Center.
The two offenses started out slow as the two teams combined for just one point over the first 2:58 of action. Once the Cougars got things going, Abby Van Kempen made it a 13-4 game with 2:47 left in the first quarter.
After Jocelyn Talso hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute to go, the Cougars led the Rams, 14-7, after 10 minutes of action.
In the second quarter, freshman Jadyn Sondrol hit three-straight 3-pointers to give the Cougars a 26-14 lead with 6:10 remaining in the first half, but the Rams kept things close as the Cougars led 30-26 at halftime.
Looking to put the game away early in the second half, the Cougars built a 45-30 lead with 3:55 to go in the third.
After three quarters of play in the books, the Cougars held a 51-40 lead over the Rams.
Mia Wassink opened up the fourth quarter with a layup to bring the lead to 13 points, but the Rams brought the game back within two points with 4:46 to go. Wassink then responded with back-to-back baskets to make it 61-55 with 4:08 left in regulation.
Down by five with 56 seconds to play, Allison Bulthuis hit a 3-pointer to make it a one-possession game with 51 seconds to go.
The two teams then traded baskets on the next two possessions as the Cougars held a 67-65 lead with 19 seconds to play. On the next Cougar possession, Lexus Eagle Chasing made one of two free throws to put the Cougars up 68-65 with 13 seconds to go.
Looking to tie the game at 68-all, Bulthuis’ shot from 3-point range was no good and Wassink secured the rebound. Wassink then capped off the game by making her second of two free throws to give the Cougars the 69-65 victory.
Lexus Eagle Chasing tallied her third double-double of the season on 12 points and 10 rebounds. Mia Wassink and Jadyn Sondrol led the Cougars with 15 points apiece. Along with her 15 points, Wassink secured eight rebounds.
Abby Van Kempen finished the game with seven points, 19 rebounds – tied a career-best outing, five assists, and two blocks.
With 8:48 left in regulation, A. Van Kempen picked up her second block of the evening to break Abby Fragodt’s ’14 school record for career blocks (200). The Cougar bench outscored the North Central bench, 23-8. UMN Morris has won seven-straight games.
UMN Morris now travels to Mankato, Minnesota to take on top-seeded Bethany Lutheran on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the semifinal round of the UMAC Tournament. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
(4) St. Scholastica 75, (5) Crown College 71
UMAC WEEKLY AWARDS
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Three Minnesota Morris student-athletes were tabbed with weekly honors as announced by the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) office Monday afternoon.
For the Cougars, Malachy Brink was tabbed the UMAC Baseball Player of the Week, McKenna Langerud was named the UMAC Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week, and Joe Wehr garnered UMAC Baseball Pitcher of the Week honors.
Malachy Brink | Senior | Outfielder
Went 8-for-19 in opening five games of season
Recorded four hits and three RBI in opening win
Reached base safely in all five games
McKenna Langerud | Freshman | Mid-Distance/Distance
Top Division III finisher in mile run at UND Tune-Up
Clocked time of 5:22.89, which is No. 4 in school history
Leads UMAC in the event this season
Joe Wehr | Senior | Pitcher
Pitched 6.2 innings and allowed three earned runs
Struck out eight
Allowed just one walk