December 30, 2003
Bearcats Down SBU in Conference Opener
MARYVILLE, Mo. -- The Northwest Missouri State women's basketball team opened conference play with a 80-68 win over Southwest Baptist at Bearcat Arena. Four Bearcats scored in double-figures, led by Sarah Vollertsen (Sr., Palmyra, Neb.) with 16 points and eight rebounds. With the win, the 'Cats move to 8-2 on the season, 1-0 in the MIAA.
Both teams came out shooting in the first half. Brooke Hogue (Sr., Albany, Mo.) got the 'Cats on the board with a three-point basket just 30 seconds into the game. Southwest Baptist used strong shooting to build a five-point lead with 13 minutes left in the half. A layup by SBU's Alicia Mercer gave the visiting Bearcats a 24-22 lead; it was the last time Southwest Baptist would lead in the game.
A bucket by Vollertsen tied the game at 24-24 with just under seven minutes remaining. A jumper by Ashley Freerksen (Fresh., West Des Moines, Iowa) gave Northwest a 39-34 lead with a minute and a half left. A bucket by Southwest Baptist's Jenni Jones sent the game to halftime with Northwest leading 39-36.
A 4-0 run in the first two minutes of the second half, capped by a Vollertsen jumper, gave Northwest its biggest lead of the game at nine points. Southwest Baptist got within four before a three-point basket by Erica Hatterman (Sr., Lost Springs, Kan.) pushed the Bearcat lead back to seven, and a jumper by Tanesha Fields (Sr., Overland Park, Kan.) put the 'Cats back in front by nine, matching Northwest's largest lead of the game.
Southwest Baptist refused to go away. Back-to-back free throws by Mercer brought SBU back to within three with seven minutes left to play. Despite being plagued by poor free-throw shooting in the first half, the 'Cats drained 10 of 11 from the charity stripe in the final five minutes of the game to take the 80-68 victory.
For the Bearcats, Freerksen notched 14 points on five of seven shooting from the field. Joining Vollertsen and Freerksen in double-figures were Hogue and Laura Friederich (Soph., Overland Park, Kan.) with 12 points each. Jenna Wolfe (Sr., Clay Center, Kan.) added chipped in with eight points and seven steals.
The 'Cats will be back in action Saturday, Jan. 3, as they host Missouri-Rolla. Game time is slated for 1:30 p.m., in Bearcat Arena
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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