MORRIS, Minn.-- Women's Basketball battled the whole way in a tough loss on Saturday night. The Rams led after a quarter and were in front near the midway point of the second quarter before the hosting University of Minnesota-Morris got back in front. NCU stayed within two possessions for most of the night before the Cougars gained full control late in the fourth quarter to defeat the Rams, 77-63.
North Central (2-8, 0-5 UMAC) fought hard throughout the contest and led 21-20 after a quarter. Morris (Morris, Minn.) took the lead back early in the second period before a pair of free throws from senior Lizzy Swanson (Askov, Minn./East Centra) gave NCU a 23-22 lead at the 7:28 mark. Morris eventually got back in front to take a 32-29 lead to halftime.
Over the first few minutes of the third quarter, North Central stayed within closing distance before UMM took their first double-figure lead with five minutes to go in the period. With 1:45 to go in the third NCU was within 45-40 but Morris closed the quarter on a 10-2 run that proved to be decisive.
Lizzy Swanson got a lay-up with 6:38 to play in the game, to cap a 7-0 surge that got NCU within 8 and it seemed the Rams were poised to make a final stretch run. But when Morris responded a bucket their on next trip, the NCU comeback effort never regained it's steam.
North Central will try to bounce back with a pair of home games in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference play next week. NCU will host Northland College (Ashland, Wis.) at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10. On Saturday, January 13, North Central welcomes the University of Wisconsin-Superior (Superior, Wis.) for a 5 p.m. tip-off.