MIAMI — Extending their home court winning streak to 46 games the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Lady Norse rolled to a 91-59 win over Eastern State College here Monday, Feb. 12.
Riding an 11-game winning streak since returning from Christmas, the Lady Norse carried a perfect 12-0 record in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference and a 20-4 overall mark into Thursday’s Pink-Out game against Western Oklahoma State (3-8 and 9-14) in the NEO Field House.
“Things went as I expected against Eastern (1-10 and 6-19),” Lady Norse head coach Jim Rowland said. “We continued to have some peaks and valleys in our consistency, but overall our girls finally clued in and finished strong.
“I knew Eastern was going to come in and take some shots that were forced up,” Rowland said. “They played a little bit out of control and
we would bail them out with a foul.”
Using a dominating inside game on defense that amassed eight blocked shots in the first two quarters, NEO built a 20-11 lead through the first 10 minutes.
Limiting the Lady Mountaineers to 27 percent shooting from the field (9 of 31), the Lady Norse carried a 44-24 cushion to the locker room at halftime.
NEO received 14 points from center Mariam Gnanou and 12 points from guard Mikayla Shulanberger in the first two quarters to create the 20-point advantage.
“Eastern came in here scoring 115 points, 91 and 85 points in their last three games, so they’ve been scoring the basketball,” Rowland said. “I told the girls that wasn’t going to happen here and they took that to heart.”
During the third quarter the Lady Norse took away the Lady Mountaineer’s ability to dribble penetrate.
The end result was a 65-42 NEO lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
A 3-point field goal by Amare Weary and six points from Lidia Guiral coming off the bench propelled the Lady Norse to a 26-17 margin during the fourth quarter.
Once again, the aggressiveness in the paint of both Bethy Mununga and Gnanou generated a double-double for the Lady Norse. Mununga scored 18 points with 17 rebounds while Gnanou contributed 24 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
“We played in the gaps of the defense and really helped out tonight,” Rowland said. “That was our goal and when you have someone like Mariam, who is 6-5 and can block a shot, it helps control the paint.”
Shulanberger contributed 20 points to the Lady Norse, along with from 12 Eneritz Larranaga.
Others with points for NEO were Megan Jackson with eight, Gurial with six and Weary with.
NEO hit 38 of 75 field goals for 51 percent and 12 of 22 for 55 percent from the free throw line.
Cachet Johnson tallied 18 points to lead Eastern while A’Breon Jackson added 17.
The Lady Mountaineers sank 22 of 64 shots from the field for 34 percent while connecting on 11 of 27 for 41 percent at the free throw line.