Jan. 15, 2013
Nelson and Bearcats try to snap skid vs. Lincoln
Tipoff: Wednesday 5:30 p.m.
Stadium: Bearcat Arena
Radio: Bearcat Radio Network
Matt Gaarder (play-by-play);
Heard on on seven stations that covers four states in the Midwest, and on the Internet from the flagship station KXCV.
(WBCA/USA Today Top 25)
Series: Northwest holds a 28-5 lead in the all-time series and are 15-2 against the Blue Tigers in Maryville. Both teams split the season series last season with the home team winning each game.
Northwest: Mark Kellogg (Austin College '98) 175-46 (8th season overall) (1st season at Northwest)
Lincoln: Nicole Collier (Missouri Western '03) 7-7 (1st season overall)
Game Quick Links
By David Boyce
Several minutes after her best shooting performance of her collegiate career, Northwest Missouri State sophomore Ashleigh Nelson somberly spoke about the 68-66 loss at Missouri Western.
It did not matter that Nelson finished with a game-high 26 points or that she made eight of 12 shots from the field, including an incredible six of eight from behind the three-point arc.
Nelson was hoping that the Bearcats would snap a mini losing streak that has grown to three.
“We took steps in the right direction to get better but it is still a loss,” Nelson said.
Northwest wants to wipe the bitter taste of three straight road losses when they return to Bearcat Arena and face Lincoln University at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Northwest is 8-5 overall and 2-3 in the MIAA. Lincoln is 7-7 and 2-4
“I think they are fairly athletic,” Northwest coach Mark Kellogg said. “They just played Pitt State close at home. Everybody is quality in this league. That is the fortunate and unfortunate part.”
The probability of Northwest winning increases if Nelson can consistently score the way she did Saturday afternoon.
Nelson is the best outside shooter on the team. She leads the Bearcats in scoring at 11.9 points per game. She has made 32 of 69 three-point attempts for an impressive 46 percent.
On Saturday at Missouri Western, Nelson showed what she is capable of doing when left wide-open.
“I felt confident,” she said. “When the ball came out of my hand, it felt good. My teammates got me the looks and coach was drawing up plays. He got it to me. If they hugged up on me, I got the kick outs to my other teammates and they were knocking them down as well.”
Unfortunately, for the Bearcats, they went through one dry spell midway through the second half that ultimately cost them the game.
Kellogg knows Nelson has the ability to score. It is a matter of confidence.
“We talked to her last week,” he said. “For her, it is her attitude and approach and when it is good and free flowing, she can be really good. When it goes the other way, sometimes she gets on herself and goes the wrong way.
“She can shoot it. When she is open, she can knock them down. Some were really difficult Saturday.”
Kellogg, though, does not want the Bearcats to be dependent on one scorer. He has other players capable of putting up double digits. Sophomore center Maggie Marnin scored 14 points against Western and could have had a few more if a couple of layups would have dropped.
Sophomore Annie Mathews and freshman Tember Schechinger have the ability to score in double digits.
“We would love to get a few more going,” Kellogg said.
Even though Northwest left the Missouri Western Fieldhouse with a tough, two-point loss, the Bearcats played markedly better than they did in losses at Missouri Southern and at Pittsburg State over a week ago.
“We are taking the right steps in practice and that really helped us get after it,” Nelson said.
“Our game against Lincoln is really important. We are kind of in a rut right now with three losses on the road. We are finally home, which is good for us to have the home crowd and get back headed in the right direction.”
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