March 4, 2010
Bearcats Win First Round Game in MIAA Tournament
KANSAS CITY, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State avenged two previous losses this season to Pittsburg State on Thursday afternoon in the first round of the MIAA Tournament. Northwest defeated the Gorillas 75-71 on the strength of Abby Henry's game-high 25 points and seven assists. Henry also added seven rebounds and two steals in the victory.
Pittsburg State (14-14) got on the board first with a pair of Nicole McCombs free-throws and also held a 4-2 lead with 18:11 left in the opening half. Northwest would proceed to go on a 23-7 run and build its biggest lead of the game at 25-11 with 8:17 to play in the first-half. Pittsburg State would cut the lead down to five before Gabby Cutis hit a jumper with 36 second left in the half and gave Northwest a 40-33 halftime lead.
Northwest would lead the rest of the game with Pittsburg State threatening numerous times and even cutting the Bearcat lead down to three at 68-65 with 3:52 remaining in the game. A pair of Shelly Martin free-throws with six seconds remaining put the Bearcats up 74-69. After a quick Pittsburg State field goal, Henry stepped to the line with 1.8 seconds remaining and hit the first free-throw to make it a two possession game.
Martin scored 17 points on 6-of-10 from the field. The MIAA's leading three-point marksman also hit 3-of-6 from three-point range. Melissa Nyquist scored a career-high eight points and hauled down seven rebounds. Gabby Curtis added eight points of her own including three assists and three blocks.
Northwest shot nearly 41 percent from the floor and hit 5-of-13 from three-point land (38.5 percent). Pittsburg State shot 35 percent for the game and went just 3-of-21 (14.3 percent) from deep. After being out-rebounded badly in their first two meeting this season with Pittsburg State, the Bearcats won the rebounding margin 45-41. The Bearcats forced 18 Gorilla turnovers and also dished out 18 assists in the win.
Northwest (14-14) will play its semifinal contest at noon on Saturday against the No. 1 seed Washburn. The Lady Blues defeated Northwest in both contests in the regular season.
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