Feb. 8, 2012
Second half comeback lifts Blue Tigers over Bearcats
By David Boyce
Northwest Missouri State women’s basketball team held an eight-point halftime lead and scored the first seven points in the second half against Lincoln University Wednesday evening at Bearcat Arena.
All signs pointed to Northwest snapping a six-game losing streak.
The Bearcats gave no indication of what was about to unfold when it held a 13-point lead with 15:54 left.
Lincoln scored the next 16 points and never trailed again, handing Northwest a disheartening 82-67 loss.
Northwest dropped to 4-19 overall and 2-13 in the MIAA. The Bearcats’ hope of earning the eighth and final spot in the MIAA Tournament dimmed just a little bit more.
What happened when Northwest was leading 51-38 and appeared to be in complete control?
“We played with emotion, passion and desperation in the first half,” Northwest coach Gene Steinmeyer said. “None of that was present in the second half. We missed a few shots and it all went away.
“I am a coach that is kind of out of answers.”
It took Lincoln 5 minutes to go from 13 points down to leading 54-51 with 10 minutes left.
It took another 2 minutes before Northwest broke its scoring drought. Shelly Martin knocked down a 15-foot jumper. Martin went 6 for 12 from the field and finished with 12 points. Abby Henry led Northwest with 22 points.
“We were stuck on 51 forever,” Steinmeyer said.
Lincoln immediately answered Martin’s basket with a three-pointer for a 57-53 lead. A little later, Freddie Sims knocked down a three-pointer that put Lincoln up 62-57 with 5:33 left.
The Bearcats never slowed down Lincoln’s offense in the final 10 minutes.
“It was like the proverbial snowball,” Steinmeyer said.
It really was hard to see this loss coming after the way Northwest played in the first half.
The Bearcats took a 41-33 lead into halftime. After a brief 2-0 deficit, the Bearcats completely dominated the first 10 minutes and built an 18-6.
The only bad sign was Northwest started giving up easy layups to Lincoln. It would haunt the Bearcats later in the game.
But in the first half, Northwest was scoring so easily that it almost didn’t matter that Lincoln was scoring nearly at the same pace.
Late in the first half, the Bearcats still held a 39-27 lead.
“How many times did we have kids on the floor for loose balls and then it just went away,” Steinmeyer said.
Northwest returns to action Saturday at home against rival Missouri Western. The Bearcats showed enough positive signs in the first half against Lincoln for them to believe they will break their losing streak.
A win against Western will definitely take some of the sting out of the loss to Lincoln.
“We will break down the film of the first half and try to transfer it to our next game,” Steinmeyer said.
The Bearcats just need to let that first half against Lincoln soak in. They created 20 turnovers in the first half. They shot 45 percent from the field. They played winning basketball.
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