BISMARCK, N.D. (KWSN) – A career-night for USF’s Jaicee Ulmer spurred the Cougars on the offensive end of the court, but her 26 points wasn’t enough to lead USF to victory as they fell to the University of Mary 78-75 in Bismarck, N.D. on Saturday. With the loss, the Cougars fall to 12-12 overall and 8-12 in the conference while the Marauders hold a 15-8 record on the season and are 13-7 in the NSIC.
Ulmer went 10-of-15 from the field including 2-of-4 from behind the arc. Seventeen of Ulmer’s points came in the second half where she was responsible for 47.5% of the Cougars offensive output. Ulmer also recorded three steals and three rebounds for USF.
The Marauders offense was spurred by Mckenzie Foster and Linda Murray who teamed up to score 43 points for U-Mary. Murray also grabbed 16 rebounds as she recorded a double-double for the Maruaders.
Foul trouble hurt the Cougars inside game as Sam Knecht and Amber Paden both had four fouls with 12:08 left in the second half. Paden’s fifth foul came with 8:20 left in the game while Knecht would exit with 2:29 left.
USF trailed by five points heading into the break despite shooting only 36.8% from the field. Varsho was the lone Cougar player to enter the locker room in double-digit scoring with her 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
Despite the struggles offensively, USF stayed in the game thanks to a stingy defensive effort that forced twenty Marauder turnovers and held U-Mary to just 37.3% from the field. Taylor Varsho provided constant pressure on the U-Mary offense as she recorded five of USF’s eleven steals.
After trailing by six points with 15:35 left in the game, the Cougars used a 9-0 run to take a 54-53 lead with just under thirteen minutes in the game. USF’s run was capped off when Laura Johnson stole the ball from the Marauders and then was fouled and hit two shots from the charity stripe.
However, U-Mary answered right back with a 9-0 run of their own when the Marauders Linda Murray hit two free-throw shots.
Two Jaicee Ulmer free-throws with 4:14 left gave the Cougars a four-point lead, but a Mckenzie Foster layup paired with a Brittney Dietz three-point shot took the lead away from the Cougars. Ulmer responded with a layup of her own with just under three minutes to play, but the Marauders came back by scoring seven straight points which all came from the free-throw line.
Taylor Varsho banked in a three-point shot at the buzzer, but it was too little too late as the Cougars fell by a final score of 78-75.
Laura Johnson came up two rebounds short of a double-double for the Cougars as she scored eleven points and grabbed eight rebounds.
After losing four straight NSIC matchups, the Cougars will look to get back in the win column as they prepare to host Minnesota-State and Concordia-St. Paul at the Stewart Center on February 21 and 22.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls