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Balanced Yellowjackets run past St. Scholastica

A well-balanced offensive attack helped the University of Wisconsin-Superior women's basketball team open its season with a 86-62 victory over the St. Scholastica Saints Monday night in the Mertz Mortorelli Gym.

Swarming Yellowjackets
UW-Superior's Bri Davis (15) and Connie Urmanski (31) surround St. Scholastica's Bri Allen (12) in the second half of the Yellowjackets' 86-62 win over the Saints in Superior Tuesday night. (Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

A well-balanced offensive attack helped the University of Wisconsin-Superior women's basketball team open its season with a 86-62 victory over the St. Scholastica Saints Monday night in the Mertz Mortorelli Gym.

The Yellowjackets had five players score in double figures, led by Bri Davis with 16 points. Kelsey Thingvold added 15 points, Hailey Hart had 12, Kailee McDonald 11 and Kaitlyn Houser 10.

Hillary Peterson was also close to breaking into double figures with nine points, and Connie Urmanski chipped in with seven points and nine assists. Thingvold also led UWS with a game-high eight rebounds.

"You always want to start off at home on the right foot," UWS coach Donald Mulhern said. "I thought we played hard, I thought we showed a lot of different signs with players and their skills, and we also collapsed well on them defensively. So overall, I'm very happy."

Kelly Cinguegrani had 13 points and Savanna Treichel 11 for the Saints, who were also playing their first game of the season. Treichel led the Saints with seven rebounds and former Northwood Evergreen Ashlee Blegen had four steals.

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"We were able to push the ball, we really ran it to them," Davis said. "It always feels good to win, especially against a local rival."

UWS never trailed in the game and took a 38-25 lead at the intermission with the help of McDonald, Thingvold and Davis, who all scored seven points in the opening 20 minutes.

The Yellowjackets shot 16-of-36 from the floor in the opening half for 44 percent, compared to just 35 percent (10-of-28) for the Saints.

The Saints managed to get within 43-35 early in the second half, but the 'Jackets quickly turned things back in their favor with a 10-2 run, including six straight points, which forced CSS to use two of its timeouts.

Houser's second 3-pointer gave Superior its largest lead of the game, 84-57, with two minutes remaining.

Overall, Superior shot 50 percent from the floor (36-of-72) and was 5-of-14 on 3-pointers.

"We did a nice job of passing the ball around and finding the open player," Davis said. "When we started hitting the 3-pointers, that opened things up for us inside."

"We have several girls that can knock down the 3's, so that's not a fluke," Mulhern said. "But we're not just about the 3, we're about pushing the ball and putting pressure on the defense. I thought we did a good job of that and that helped create a lot of transition offense."

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The Yellowjackets will next take part in the Crown College Tip-Off Classic in St. Bonifacius, Minn. They will play Crown College at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Waldorf College at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Their next home game will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11 against UW-Whitewater.

The Saints play at 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

'JACKET JOTTINGS: Superior High School was well represented with Britnee Blake playing for UWS and Laura Amys and Shannon Lehikoinen playing for CSS. ... Amys, a junior, scored seven points before leaving the game with a leg injury with five minutes remaining. She walked off the court on her own, but sat out the rest of the game with her leg wrapped with ice. ...Lehikoinen finished with four points and Blake dished out an assist and came up with a steal. ... St. Scholastica's starting guards, Taylor Fellbaum and Blegen, are both former Northwood Evergreens. ... The win marks the second time in the last three seasons that the Yellowjackets have opened the season with a win over St. Scholastica. ... The 86 points scored are the most since they put up 83 on Bethany Lutheran on Nov. 18, 2008. The last time the Yellowjackets hit the 86-point mark was Dec. 7, 2002 in a 90-86 loss to UW-Whitewater.

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