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UWS women win 2nd straight UMAC title

The University of Wisconsin-Superior women’s basketball team clinched its second straight Upper Midwest Athletic Conference regular-season championship with a 76-63 win over Minnesota Morris Saturday afternoon on Jim Gremmels Court.

With the win the Yellowjackets finished with a perfect 16-0 record for the second straight season and claimed home-court advantage throughout the conference tournament.

UWS (21-4 overall) will host Bethany Lutheran in one semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mortorelli Gymnasium. The Vikings (13-13, 10-7) advanced with Monday night’s 72-69 win over Martin Luther College.

Morris (19-6, 14-2) is the No. 2 seed and host No. 3 University of Northwestern Wednesday. The championship game is Saturday.

To lock up the title, the Yellowjackets needed a comeback against the Cougars after being down one point at the half.

The second half was a different story, as the Yellowjackets scored the first six points and out-scored Morris 21-13 in the third quarter.

They’d keep that pace up in the fourth quarter, eventually pushing the lead to a game-high 17 points with 3:07 remaining.

The Cougars scored five of the final six points in the game, but UWS held them at bay to claim its third conference championship dating back to a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in 2014-15.

Sophomore Hannah Norlin scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Yellowjackets. Junior guard, and former Superior Spartan, Hailey Kontny earned a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Amelia Leger hit double figures with 11 points.

Elli Stevenson had a team-high 11 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars.

Before the season, the Yellowjackets were a heavy favorite to repeat as UMAC champions and they couldn’t have had a stronger finish.

After losing three of their first four games in non-conference play, the Yellowjackets went on to win eight-straight games before losing again — another non-conference setback. That loss came on Dec. 30 (St. Catherine, 61-58) and the Yellowjackets haven’t lost since. 

Against UMAC opponents this season, UWS has dominated in almost every statistical category possible. The Yellowjackets average 78.8 points per game and outscore their opponents by 22.5 ppg. They also boast a league-best defense holding opponents under 56.3 ppg.

In other aspects of the game, the Yellowjackets overpower the rest of the conference, too.

They boast a league-high rebounding average, more than 44 per game, and the only double-digit rebounding margin that tops 11.4 per game. The league champion also tops the conference in assist/turnover ratio, steals and assists.

Heading into the tournament, the Yellowjacket offense is led by a trio of double-digit scorers in Kontny, Norlin and Eva Reinertsen.

The three have led their squad in scoring in all but one UMAC game this season.

Kontny — reigning UMAC Player of the Year — averages a team-best 14.0 ppg in league play. She also ranks in the top 10 in shooting percentage at 41.1 percent from the field.

Norlin boasts 12.8 ppg and Reinertsen pours in 11.0 ppg off the bench to help boost the offense. Norlin shoots better than 50 percent from the field and ranks second on the team in rebounding averaging over seven per game. Bailee Bartunek leads with more than eight per game.

UWS 75, Crown 53

The Yellowjackets began the weekend with a 75-53 win over Crown College Friday evening in St. Bonifacius, Minn.

Reinertsen and Emily Carpenter had 15 and 11 points off the bench, respectively, for UWS, which got 53 points total off the bench.

Mariah Douville had 14 points off the bench to lead Crown (1-23, 0-15).

Saturday’s Game

UW-Superior (21-4, 16-0)

Hannah Norlin 8-12 4-4 20; Hailey Kontny 7-18 1-4 16; Amelia Leger 4-5 1-2 11; Bailee Bartunek 4-8 1-4 9; Justine Larson 2-4 1-2 5; Megan Aho 1-4 3-5 5; Eva Reinertsen 2-6 0-0 4; Brittany Laehn 2-3 0-0 4; Jade Tucker 1-1 0-0 2; Emily Carpenter 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-62 11-21 76.

Minn. Morris (19-6, 14-2)

Elli Stevenson 5-11 4-5 16; Tori Holt 3-4 1-2 7; Mauren Thiesen 3-7 1-2 7; Jordan Halvorson 3-3 1-2 7; Courtney Dague 2-4 0-0 6; Becca Holland 2-2 0-0 5; Bailey Miller 2-5 0-1 5; Abby Van Kempen 2-7 0-0 4; Kendra Raths 1-3 0-0 3; Emma Atkinson 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 24-50 7-12 63.

UW-Superior............... 21    15     21    19   —   76

Minn. Morris............... 19    18     13    13   —   63

3-point goals—UWS 3-10 (Leger 2-2; Kontny 1-1; Aho 0-2; Reinertsen 0-3; Laehn 0-1; Carpenter 0-1), Morris 8-18 (Dague 2-2; Stevenson 2-4; Raths 1-3; Atkinson 1-3; Holland 1-1; Miller 1-2; Van Kempen 0-1; Thiesen 0-2). Fouled out--UWS-Justine Larson. Rebounds—UWS 35 (Kontny 12), Morris 29 (Stevenson 7). Assists—UWS 11 (Kontny 3; Aho 3), Morris 14 (Stevenson 2; Dague 2; Halvorson 2; Holland 2; Holt 2; Raths 2). Total fouls—UWS 18, Morris 15.

 

Friday’s Game

UW-Superior (20-4)

Eva Reinertsen 6-10 1-3 15; Emily Carpenter 3-4 2-4 11; Hailey Kontny 5-9 1-2 11; Jade Tucker 2-6 3-3 7; Megan Aho 2-3 2-2 6; Brittany Laehn 1-4 2-2 4; Bailee Bartunek 2-3 0-0 4; Morgan Nepstad 1-3 2-2 4; Etta Sorenson 1-1 2-4 4; Hannah Norlin 2-12 0-0 4; Jade Wong 1-5 0-2 2; Justine Larson 1-4 0-0 2; Amelia Leger 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 27-65 16-26 75.

Crown (1-23)

Mariah Douville 5-9 1-1 14; Betty Lou Rand 2-4 0-0 6; Madison Stricklin 3-3 0-0 6; Kayla Carter 2-4 2-4 6; Damonyka Roberts 0-2 6-8 6; Andrea Besa 0-4 4-4 4; Stevey De La Ossa 0-5 4-6 4; Miranda Brueggeman 1-4 0-0 3; Sam Mauer 0-3 2-2 2; Nicole Kucza 1-2 0-0 2; Patricia Gibson 0-0 0-2 0; Katie Hinkle 0-1 0-0 0; Ava Szczyrbak 0-3 0-2 0. Totals 14-52 19-29 53.

UW-Superior............... 22    18     21    14   —   75

Crown........................ 11      8     17    17   —   53

3-point goals—UWS 5-11 (Carpenter 3, Reinertsen 2), Rose Crown 6-22 (Douville 3, Rand 2, Brueggeman). Fouled out--Crown-Szczyrbak. Rebounds—UWS 48 (Reinertsen 7), Crown 39 (Douville 5). Assists—UWS 12 (Carpenter 3; Reinertsen 3), Crown 10. Total fouls—UWS 26, Crown 25. A-197.

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