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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

March 3, 2005

Northwest Missouri Gets Knocked Out of MIAA Tournament 100-75 versus #7 Emporia State

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -In the rematch of last year's Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Tournament Championship, the Northwest Missouri State women's basketball team was on the short end of a 100-75 decision against No. 7 Emporia State tonight at Municipal Auditorium. The defending MIAA Tournament champions, Northwest defeated Emporia 76-62 in the league title game a year ago.

Never holding the lead, the Bearcats fought all night trying to dwindle the Lady Hornet deficit.

"I thought we battled tonight," said head coach Gene Steinmeyer. "The 25 points (deficit) was a lot to overcome. Emporia is loaded with talent and experience. But our kids didn't quit. We're young and tried to hang around."

The Lady Hornets hit five of their first seven shots, four of them coming from behind the arc, in building a quick 14-6 lead in the first three-plus minutes. Two free throws by junior Laura Friederich cut the lead to five at the 9:38 mark but ESU responded with 22-12 run to take a 45-30 edge. Emporia would keep the double-digit lead and go in to halftime with a 47-34 lead.

Emporia forced 10 Northwest turnovers and owned the boards, 22-14.

Northwest battled back in the second half thanks to the offensive touch of Friederich. Out of the locker room, Friederich notched half of the team's first 18 points to bring her team to a single-point deficit. Friederich's lay-up at the 14:03 mark brought the score at 61-52 in favor of ESU. But, the Lady Hornets rattled off 10 straight points and maintained at least a 17 point lead till the final horn sounded.

ESU finished at 54 percent (37-of-69) from the floor including 48 percent (10-of-21) from the three-point range. The 10 treys marked a Lady Hornet season-best. Northwest went 43 percent (26-of-60) from the field and 33 percent (five-of-15) from deep. The Lady Hornets held a 39-29 rebounding advantage.

Friederich ended with a game-high 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting - it was her seventh 20-plus point effort on the season. She ends her junior season with 1,070 career points, which is 16th on the Northwest lifetime list. Freshman Mandi Schumacher finished with 10 points and team-high seven rebounds. Lone senior Ashley Poptanycz came away with nine points and four rebounds.

Michelle Stueve led a barrage of scorers for the Lady Hornets with 21 points including four treys. Nicole Patry added 15 points while Michelle Brown nearly hit for the first MIAA Tournament triple-double with 11 points, 11 assists and nine boards.

Northwest ends its season at 13-17 overall.

"The 13-17 record might be a nightmare to a lot of coaches, but it was fun for me," said Steinmeyer.

Emporia moves on to play the winner of the Central Missouri/Missouri Southern winner at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in the semifinal round.

NOTES: The Bearcats allowed 100 points for the first time since an 105 effort by Missouri Western during the 2000-01 season...Laura Friederich came one point shy of her career-best (25) done against Emporia on Feb. 5, 2005...The 'Cats end the season with 182 season-pointers, 11 off the Northwest record of 193 set last year...The 100 points allowed is the most in Tournament play - Southeast Missouri State went for 99 on Mar. 1, 1984...Northwest falls to 0-4 in Tournament history as the No. 7 seed - overall, the No. 7 seed is 1-15 in Tournament play...A Gene Steinmeyer-coached team (since 2000) falls to 4-3 in the MIAA Tournament...Losing the turnover battle (16-13), the Bearcats totaled more turnovers for just the seventh time all season.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468