Feb. 23, 2011
Bearcats claim conference crown on Senior Night
MARYVILLE, Mo.-It wasn't pretty Wednesday night inside Bearcat Arena, but the 18th-ranked Northwest Missouri State women's basketball team secured its first outright MIAA conference title in program history with a 67-54 win over Southwest Baptist. The Bearcats were co-champions along with Central Missouri following the 1983-84 season.
Northwest (22-3, 18-3 MIAA) got off to a shaky start on "Senior Night," committing 13 first half turnovers and shooting just 37 percent from the field. The Bearcats looked to be taking control towards the end of the opening half when they went on a 14-0 run and led 28-12 with 5:31 remaining in the half. A pesky Southwest Baptist team had other ideas though and went on a 14-2 run of its own to end the half and cut the Northwest advantage to 30-26 at the break.
The Bearcats scored the first six points of the second half, but Baptist (8-17, 5-16 MIAA) again responded to cut the Northwest lead down to just one, 38-37 with over 14 minutes to play. Two big three-pointers by Shelly Martin and Ashley Thayer, as well as a 24-13 run the final 10 minutes of the game proved to be enough as Northwest distanced itself down the stretch. Kyla Roehrig also scored eight of her 10 points the final eight minutes of the game on the way to her 11th double-double of the year. Roehrig added a game-high 15 rebounds in the win.
Abby Henry led all scorers with 19 points and had four assists. Henry is now just 13 points shy of 1,000 for her career. Gabby Curtis and Martin each added 14 points apiece. Martin hit three treys and Curtis had five rebounds and two steals in the game.
For the game, Northwest shot nearly 41 percent while holding Southwest Baptist to 34 percent shooting and its third-lowest point total of the season. Both squads went 10-for-13 from the line and Northwest hit just one-more three-pointer than did Baptist. The Bearcats won the rebound battle however 44-26 and scored 11-more second-chance points and had twice as many offensive rebounds then Southwest Baptist.
Northwest clinched the conference crown with the win and Washburn's 61-59 overtime loss to Emporia State. The Bearcats will now be the number one seed in the MIAA Tournament next weekend and will play the loser of Saturday's Central Missouri and Truman matchup, next Friday at noon.
Northwest still has its season finale on Saturday as the Bearcats travel to Joplin, Mo., to face Missouri Southern at 1 p.m. Northwest won earlier this season 75-64. Curtis scored 27 points in the January victory.
Four Bearcats were honored before Wednesday's game. Curtis, Gentry Dietz, Melissa Nyquist and Roehrig all played their final games in Bearcat Arena Wednesday night.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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