"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's snowing, and UMM hoopsters are battling

The swirling snow outside today (Saturday) is enough of a sign we're into winter. Another big sign is the UMM basketball athletes racing up and down the court.
The UMM men and women both had a 1-1 start. Things went great in the opener for both teams. They both hosted North Central, the Rams, on November 15. Both showed a winning flourish at the Jim Gremmels court.
For the men, success came by an 87-79 score.
Brendon Foss continued his athletic exploits from the football season, putting in a team-high 16 points. Brendon is a football receiver, often catching passes from his brother Derrick. Both are former Hancock Owls.
Ben Hoidal from Forest Lake was right behind Brendon with his 15 points. East Grand Forks product Derek Schmidt contributed ten points plus he snared seven rebounds. UMM had a 39-34 rebounding advantage.
It was the Rams getting an early lead by a margin of seven. UMM then seized momentum with a 23-12 run. Wisconsin product Jeremy Burns gave UMM the lead with a three-pointer at the 13:04 mark.
The Cougars were clearly in the groove as the second half unfolded. There was a 10-3 run building cushion on the scoreboard. The cushion swelled to 20, 65-45, at the 11:29 mark. Brodie Raymond of St. Peter connected from three-point range to put the lead at 20.
The Rams weren't rolling over, though. They showed their mettle getting back within six points within the last minute. Fans looked up at 83-77 numbers on the scoreboard.
UMM needed to bear down to put this one away, and bear down they did by scoring four of the last six points. The final horn sounded with 87-79 numbers on the scoreboard and the UMM crowd savoring win No. 1.
The Cougars were humbled in their second contest, bowing 66-44 on the road to the Cobbers of Concordia. UMM managed an early lead but faded, as too many shots bounced off the rim. UMM's first half shooting stats were a cold six of 23 (26 percent).
This game was played on 11/17.
A Jeremy Burns three-pointer did give UMM a 7-2 lead, but Concordia proceeded to take command with a 10-1 run. The Cobbers led by as many as 17 points in the first half, and by 16 when the halftime horn sounded.
Brendon Foss finished with eight points as did Zach Meyer (from Cottonwood) and Derek Schmidt.
Kyle Bruns (from Brandon) found the range for six points. UMM was quite outdone in team field goal percentage: 55 percent for Concordia and 33 percent for the maroon crew.

The women's story
The University of Minnesota-Morris women launched the new season following pretty much the same pattern as the men.
First there was a pretty convincing opener win. The Cougars turned back the North Central Rams 77-45.
The Cougars looked smooth on the Gremmels court, scoring 42 points in the first 20 minutes. In that same span the Rams scored a mere 15.
Kendra Wykoff from Montrose made a three-pointer that pushed UMM's lead to 27 in the first half. Wykoff came off the bench to turn in her heroics. She would end the night as UMM's top scorer with 25 points.
Emily Mehr from Aitkin poured in 18 points and collected eight rebounds. (I wonder if Emily is a daughter of one of the Mehr boys I remember from bygone days at UMM. One of them actually got a shot at pro football at quarterback with the Vikings.)
Jenni Noordmans from Hancock scored ten points. Jenni and the Foss brothers are part of a very pleasing Stevens County connection in University of Minnesota-Morris athletics.
UMM shot field goals with 42 percent success in the 11/15 win. Former Benson Brave Abby Fragodt snared eight rebounds. UMM made eight three-pointers half of which were contributed by Wykoff.
Wykoff went four of eight in those long-rangers, and in overall field goals this sparkplug Cougar went nine of 15.
UMM's freethrow numbers were 13 of 18. They outrebounded the Rams 43-30.
The Cougars were brought back down to earth in their second game, getting outclassed by St. Benedict as part of the MIAC/UMAC Challenge. Alas this scoreboard story was 78-43.
This game was played on 11/18.
The Blazers of St. Ben's enjoyed an 8-0 run at the start of the second half, a half in which they outscored UMM 41-18. The Blazers enjoyed an 11-0 run in mid-half.
Emily Mehr with her 13 points and seven rebounds gave some stability for UMM. These were team-leading stats.
Wykoff, who we should note is just a freshman, put in eleven points and she made two of the team's three three-pointers. But three-pointers as a whole were a down note for the Cougar cause, reflected in three-for-20 numbers.
In freethrows the team was ten of 19.
The Blazers made almost 50 percent of their field goal tries. UMM languished at 25 percent.
All in all the early indications from UMM hoops are that an exciting winter lies ahead.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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