MIAMI — Scoring double digits in all four quarters, the No. 17 ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Lady Norse opened the regular season Wednesday night with a 100-32 victory over the Oklahoma Wesleyan University junior varsity in the NEO Field House.
With the win, the Lady Norse travel to Little Rock, Friday and Saturday, to play in the Arkansas Baptist College Classic. NEO faces Angelina (Texas) College at 3 p.m. on Friday before tackling Chattahoochee Valley at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The Angelina Roadrunners from Lufkin, Texas, finished 15-16 last year while the Chattahoochee Valley Lady Pirates from Phenix, Alabama, posted a 23-8 season record last year.
“We got a really tough weekend ahead of us because both this programs have been to the national tournament before,” Lady Norse head coach Jim Rowland said. “We’re going to see a lot of athleticism this weekend from both teams.
“They both play wide open games and we’re going to be ready for that,” Rowland said. “Even though I think we match up with them, the thing I’m worried about is our depth.
“We’ve got to keep people on the court and out of foul trouble early,” Rowland said. “Our eyes are really going to become wide open after these two games.”
Sophomore shooting guard Eneritz Larranaga (5-6) scored 16 of her 19 points in the first two quarters as NEO constructed a 48-18 advantage.
Freshman forward Mariam Gnanou (6-5) contributed 10 points in the first 20 minutes.
“We started off very slow which is common for a young team,” Rowland said. “We kind of played their game in the first two quarters before coming around in the second half.”
During the third and fourth quarters, the Lady Norse dominated the boards at both ends of the court while reaching the 100-point plateau.
Six members of the Lady Norse reached double figures led by Larranaga’s game-high 19 points. Megan Jackson contributed 16, followed by Amare Weary 13, Gnanou 12, Bethy Mununga 11 and Mikayla Shulanberger 10. Lidia Guiral scored seven and Alexis Lambert and Morgan Lutes tallied six each.
NEO connected on 37 of 77 field goals (including 10 of 35 from 3-point range) for 48 percent from the field and 16 of 27 free throws for 59 percent.
Daley Gay paced the outmanned Lady Eagles with six points, Cheyenne McBeath and Abigail Fernandez five each, ShaRae Frazier four, and Shania Pace, Jayla Rusk, Haley Johnson, Caitlynn Copeland, Emma Tillman and Shirlandra Mattox had two each.
The Lady Eagles managed only 11 of 17 (including just 1 of 6 3-pointers) for 30 percent from the field and 9 of 18 for 47 percent from the free throw line.
Mununga recorded a double-double for NEO with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
“I think our defense is going to be a strong point for this team,” Rowland said. “If we can stay out of foul trouble, it’s going to be hard to score on us.”
The Lady Norse scored 48 points off 25 turnovers by the Lady Eagles.
“We’re going to make every possession tough on a lot of people,” Rowland said. “This group really buys in to the defensive side of our game.”