MLC Women Lose Regular Season Finale at UMM
MORRIS, Minn. - The MLC women's basketball team lost the final game of the regular season Minnesota-Morris by the score of 71-53.
MLC jumped out quickly to start the game, taking an early 10-2 lead before Cougars were able to make a run to close the half and take a 29-24 lead into the break.
UMM pushed the lead into double figures early in the second half as it started the second stanza on a 6-0 run, but a Sara Willems lay-up cut the MLC deficit down to five with 12:40 to play in the game.
The Cougars would take control from there, running off ten consecutive points over the next 3:45 of game action to build its biggest lead of the game at 54-39 with just under nine minutes to play. The Knights were never able to cut the deficit back into single digits the rest of the way as the Cougars finished with the win.
Turnovers were a big factor in the game, with the Cougars forcing 18 MLC turnovers that led to 18 UMM points (15 of the fast break variety). UMM finished with just eight turnovers in the game, allowing the Cougars to finish with an 18-4 edge in points off turnovers and a 15-2 advantage in fast break points.
Both teams played their trademark half court defense, and the shooting percentages reflected that. MLC shot 29.5 percent from the field, while UMM needed the help of those easy transition baskets to reach 40.4 percent for the game. The Cougars also outscored the Knights at the line 22-12, with UMM taking 34 attempts from the charity stripe for the game.
Brittney Gossen finished as the high scorer for MLC with 14 points, while Hannah Hackbarth added 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
MLC finished the regular season 11-14 overall and 9-5 in the UMAC, good for third place in the final conference standings. UMM improved to 18-7 on the season and 14-0 in league play with the win.
The Knights will now defend their UMAC Conference Tournament Championship from last season, with the semi-final round starting on Wednesday, February 20. MLC will travel to second-seeded Northwestern for that game, with the tip scheduled for 5:30 p.m.