March 6, 2008
Northwest Advances With Overtime Win Against MSSU
KANSAS CITY, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State seniors Mandi Schumacher and Lauren Williams scored 20 and 18 points, respectively, to lead the Bearcats to a 74-66 overtime win against Missouri Southern Thursday in the first round of the MIAA Tournament. The Bearcats advanced to the semifinals and will face top-ranked Washburn at noon on Saturday.
Northwest (15-13) rallied from nine points down with eight minutes left to force overtime, then scored 12 of the first 13 points in the extra frame to advance past Missouri Southern (18-10) for the second year in a row. The Bearcats beat the Lions 77-54 in the first round of last year's MIAA tournament.
Meghan Brue knocked down a 3-pointer on the Bearcats' first overtime possession and Schumacher made it 67-62 next time down with a bucket in the paint.
Missouri Southern guard India Wood stole an errant Northwest pass and raced to the other end for what appeared to be an easy two, but April Miller chased Wood down and rejected her from behind. Brue chased down the rebound and moments later Miller banked in a runner in the lane for a 69-62 lead with less than two minutes to go.
Miller, one of five seniors fighting to extend their collegiate careers, had seven points, a season-high seven rebounds, four assists and a career-best tying five steals. The Bearcats had 16 steals in the game and forced the Lions into 30 turnovers.
Miller keyed the comeback in the second half, not with her scoring, but with her hustle. Northwest trailed by six at the break and Miller stole the ball on the first possession of the second half to set the tone.
Two offensive rebounds by Miller early in the second stanza led to a Williams 3-pointer and a Schumacher field goal. Miller penetrated the lane and kicked to Jessica Burton, who knocked down a wide-open 3 to close the gap to 45-42 with 14 minutes remaining.
Northwest twice cut the deficit to three, but the Lions answered and led 56-47 with eight minutes to go.
The Bearcats scored 13 of the game's next 15 points and took a 60-58 lead with 2:40 remaining on one of two free throws by Miller.
The final nine points of regulation came at the charity stripe. Schumacher made 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game at 62 with 18 seconds remaining. Wood was fouled, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 17 seconds left.
Williams had a chance to win the game in regulation for Northwest, but her 12-foot jumper rolled out. Williams was 3-of-7 from behind the arc and scored 12 points after the break.
Schumacher reached 20 points for the 11th time this season and also drew fouls on the interior players of the Lions. Tynesha Pierce led the Lions with 14 points, but drew her fifth foul in the final minute of regulation.
Burton hit two 3-pointers and finished with 12 points, one shy of her season high. She blocked a Lion shot then nailed a 10-footer to pull Northwest within one with three minutes to go. Burton was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line, had four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
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