March 9, 2008
Northwest Wins Second MIAA Tournament Title
KANSAS CITY, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State won three games in four days and punched its ticket to the NCAA Division II tournament with an 82-58 win against Southwest Baptist in the MIAA tournament final Sunday at Municipal Auditorium. The Bearcats, who had to win all three games to extend their season, have qualified for the tournament for the second year in a row.
Andrea Dill scored 18 points off the Bearcat bench and Jessica Burton and Kelli Nelson added 14 points each. The announcement as to where Northwest will play next week will be announced Sunday night at 9:30 p.m.
Northwest defeated the No. 1, 3 and 4 seeds to become the first five seed to win the MIAA tournament. The Bearcats (17-13) won the 2004 title as a three seed.
Mandi Schumacher scored nine points and six rebounds and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. She averaged 14.3 points and 8.7 rebounds in three tournament games. Schumacher joins Sarah Vollertsen as Northwest student-athletes to win the award.
The 24-point margin of victory is the largest in a championship game since 2001. The Bearcats led the game's final 35 minutes and took a 38-27 lead into the break.
Dill led a Bearcat bench that totaled 44 points. Burton was 7-of-11 from the field while establishing her season high. Micaela Uriell hit two three-pointers and scored all 10 of her points in the first half.
Erika Souza scored a game-high 22 points to lead Southwest Baptist and Cortney Shewmaker chipped in 13. Kelly Reinkemeyer, a 6-3 postplayer, was 2-of-8 from the field and had four points.
Northwest outrebounded SBU 45-26 and forced the Lady Bearcats into 19 turnovers. Meghan Brue scored 11 points, had a game-high nine rebounds and four steals for Northwest.
Northwest Missouri State Head Coach Gene Steinmeyer Post-Game Quotes
"These guys will have to tell you because I really can't explain it. We're sitting three weeks ago in Warrensburg, Mo., with a 44-point loss and things could have really gone the wrong way for us. And then we felt the same way in Hays, Kan., eight days ago. I think about halfway through the Southern game, something came on for these guys.
"We played great defense this week. Forty-four bench points, I'm sure that's the most we've had this year."
About Northwest's ball movement…
"I've been waiting for a team to press us and we really do well against a press. We run mismatches everyday in practice, but when teams go back and play half court defense on you, you don't get a chance to use it.
"They had to gamble when they got behind double-digits. Dill was a big part of that. There were some great passes, both to Dill and from Dill."
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