Tahlequah Daily Press

College Sports

March 7, 2014

Central Mo. ends NSU’s season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Northeastern State women’s basketball team saw its season come to a close with a 79-65 loss to No. 8 Central Missouri Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the 2014 MIAA Championship.

The No. 9-seeded RiverHawks (11-17) advanced to Municipal Auditorium for the second-straight year, and they also fell in the quarterfinals for the second-straight year. The top-seeded Jennies (24-3) advance to face either No. 4 Missouri Southern State or No. 5 Fort Hays State at noon March 8.

“I was pleased with the way we came out and played today. We were a little tentative early and missed some easy shots in and around the basket. But maybe those were just normal nerves that you have playing on this kind of stage,” NSU coach Randy Gipson said. “ By and large our team tried to execute our game plan.”

Junior guard Chelsey Beathard led NSU with 15 points. Fellow junior guard Fontana Tate and freshman forward Che’Ron Lewis both added 10 points. Forward Carrington Fox, the lone senior on the team, tallied four points, five rebounds, four blocks, and two assists in her final collegiate game.

NSU shot 48.9 percent (23-for-47) from the field, 44.4 percent (8-for-18) from behind the 3-point line and 73.3 percent (11-for-15) at the free-throw line. UCM shot 56.6 percent (30-for-53) overall, 55 percent (11-for-20) from downtown and 72.7 percent (8-for-11) at the line.

BreAnna Lewis paced the Jennies with 21 points, 19 of which came in the second half. MIAA Player of the Year Keuna Flax registered 17 points, Shelby Winkelmann had 16 and Quinnecia Twine added 12 off the bench.

Central Missouri pushed ahead early and was able to build a 31-19 lead with 3:47 left following a Winkelmann triple. Northeastern State fought back and closed the half on a 10-0 run, though, to trail just 31-29 at intermission.

The RiverHawks stayed close to UCM early in the second half and trailed just 48-46 at the 13:11 mark, but the Jennies began flexing their muscles and used a 9-0 run to move ahead by double digits over the next few minutes.

NSU never recovered from the barrage of scoring from UCM down the stretch, and Central Missouri shot 72 percent (18-for-25) from the field in the second half to pull away from Northeastern State and earn the 14-point victory.

“The year finished well, and I’m awfully happy we could get to Kansas City so that Carrington (Fox) could do that again. And we actually played a better game this time around than we did last year with a more senior-laden team,” Gipson said. “We didn’t leave anything out there.”

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