NSU (women) 73, Mo. Western 56
Six different RiverHawks (14-6, 9-3 MIAA) finished with at least nine points, led by 19 from senior guard Taylor Lewis. Lewis shot 7-for-8 from the field, 3-for-3 from downtown and made both free-throw attempts.
Senior forward Sarah Green scored a season-high 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. She also pulled down eight rebounds. Junior guard Taylor Collins and sophomore guard Fontana Tate both added 10 points.
The Griffons (13-7, 6-6 MIAA) were led by Brittany Griswold, who finished with 22 points. Cassey Sobaski added 10 points. Heather Howard entered the game as the team’s leading scorer at 14.0 points per game, but she was held to just four.
Both teams struggled out of the gate, and a Griswold layup at 10:06 tied the contest at 11-11. Tate made a layup at 9:53 that sparked a 7-0 run for NSU, but Missouri Western State quickly notched proceedings at 23-23.
MWSU took a 29-25 edge, but NSU scored the last five points of the first half to lead 30-29 at intermission.
A Griswold trey at 16:34 brought the Griffons to within one at 35-34, but the visitors wore down the home team late and took complete control of the contest over the final 15:24.
“The mentality of our team pulled us through today. Our kids were determined. We played a team that really pressures hard and is really physical,” NSU coach Randy Gipson said. “You have to be really aggressive and strong with the ball the whole game. We came out and did that.”
From that point on, NSU outscored MWSU by 16 points, 38-22. The RiverHawks began finding holes in the full-court press and getting easy layups, while also knocking down multiple shots from outside. All six members of the team that scored in the game picked up points in the last push as the exhausted Griffons were unable to hold on.
Northeastern State shot 53 percent (28-for-53) from the field and 33 percent (6-for-18) from distance. Missouri Western State was held to 33-percent shooting (22-for-66) from the field and 29 percent (7-for-24) from downtown.
NSU outscored MWSU 43-27 in the second half, and the 43 points tied for most scored by the RiverHawks in a second half this season.
Northeastern State will return home for a 5:30 p.m. tip on Thursday against Lindenwood.