Jan. 24, 2013
Northwest battles Jennies to close road swing
Tipoff: Saturday 1:30 p.m.
Stadium: UCM Multipurpose Building
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)
Central Missouri: 16
Series: UCM leads the all-time series 58-24 and swept the season series last year.
Northwest: Mark Kellogg (Austin College '98) 175-46 (8th season overall) (1st season at Northwest)
Central Missouri: Dave Slifer (Mount Mercy '82) 145-91 (9th season)
Game Quick Links
By David Boyce
Sophomore Maggie Marnin is one of those players who always seem to wear a big smile when she is in a basketball uniform.
Sure, signs of frustration will cross her face if she misses a layup or a rebound slips from her grip.
Still, 10 minutes after a tough loss, Marnin has the ability to find the positive. It is this upbeat nature that every basketball team needs because even the best teams face times of adversity.
Many of Northwest’s key players are sophomores and a freshman and the Bearcats are learning a new system under first-year coach Mark Kellogg so there will be some growing pains.
“His whole program and structure is a good thing,” Marnin said. “It was hard to get used to at first. It is great to see the results of what he taught us.”
The Bearcats will try to bounce back from a tough 76-74 loss at Southwest Baptist on Tuesday. Northwest heads back on the road Saturday for an afternoon game at Central Missouri. At 14-2 and 6-2 in conference, the Jennies are one of the best teams in the MIAA.
Northwest, though, has already far exceeded preseason expectations. The Bearcats were picked to finish 14th in a 15-team league by both the coaches and the media.
The Bearcats are currently 10-6 overall and 4-4 and bunched with four other teams in the middle of the MIAA.
Marnin is one reason for the Bearcats surprise rise in the standings. She is second on the team in scoring, averaging 10.9 points. She is shooting 58 percent from the field and ranks second on the team in rebounding at 5.3.
“She has size, she has great hands, smart kid and a smart player,” Kellogg said. “We are trying to get her to be a bit more physical and that is OK. You see that with big kids sometimes. She is a great defensive player. She blocks shots and alters shots. We play a lot of zone, which fits her style.”
With each passing game, Marnin looks more comfortable on the court. In the last two games, she has made 13 out of 22 shots.
“My teammates know where I like it and they put it right where I need it and I pass it right back out for the three so it is a win-win for everybody,” Marnin said.
No doubt the experience Marnin, Ashleigh Nelson and Annie Mathews gained last year is helping them out this year.
“It was good experience,” she said. “We had three young people who played a lot last year. We had a new team coming into this season with a new coach and system. It definitely helped to have experience from last year. We built a core. We all know how we play now.”
One of the noticeable changes from last season is the cohesion on the court. During rough stretches when points are slow to come, the Bearcats remain together. There isn’t one player trying to do it all.
“I feel like we get along so well,” Marnin said. “Sometimes you are on teams that do not get along on the court or off the court. We are always together and are always getting along. We know through the tough times we need to stick together.”
The Bearcats have been doing exactly that and it is why they are surprising teams in the MIAA.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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