GARDEN CITY, Kan. - Completing a three-game sweep in the Garden City Community College Pepsi Classic, Northeastern A&M's 18th ranked Lady Norse defeated Howard (Texas) College 52-45 Saturday afternoon.

With the victory, coach Jim Rowland's Lady Norse stand 4-0 on the season while the Howard Hawks suffered their first loss in six games.

“We just couldn't score,” Rowland said. “(Howard) really didn't stop us, we just couldn't get the ball to fall.”

The Lady Norse travel to Great Bend, Kan., next Friday and Saturday to play in the Barton County Community College Cougar Booster Club Classic. The Lady Norse face Cloud County, Kan., at 2 p.m. Friday before playing the host Cougars at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Sophomore point-guard Misty Haley scored nine of her game-high 19 points in the first half as the Lady Norse grabbed a 28-14 lead at intermission. Veteran center Denise Rosario contributed six points Megan Fraley and Nolisha Markham added five points each respectively.

During the first 20 minutes, the Lady Norse canned 12 of 32 for 38 percent from the field.

The Hawks struggled by hitting only 6 of 29 field goals for 21 percent.

Sparked by a 10-point performance by Candace Lambert, the Hawks rallied in the second half only to have NEO stave off the rally with clutch free throw shooting by Fraley, Haley and Skye Rees in the final two minutes.

“We were able to double-down defensively and rotated really well to the ball,” Rowland said. “Howard is a very athletic basketball team, but we took them out of their game and played very solid defense.”

Along with the 19 points by Haley, the Lady Norse received 12 points by Rosario, eight by Markham, seven by Fraley and six by Rees.

The Lady Norse hit 20 of 54, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range, for 37 percent from the field and 8 of 10 for 80 percent at the free throw line.

Lambert was the only Hawk in double figures with 14 total points.

Howard connected on 15 of 56, including 4 of 15 from the 3-point arch, for 27 percent from the field. The Hawks hit 11 of 22 for 50 percent at the line.

Markham hauled down 15 rebounds to give NEO a 36 to 35 edge on the boards. Monica Jones pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Hawks.

Northeastern A&M 52, Howard, Texas 45

Northeastern A&M - Misty Haley 7-17 2-2 19, Rosario 5-10 2-2 12, Markham 4-7 0-1 8, Fraley 2-4 3-4 7, Rees 2-7 1-2 6, Thompson 0-6 0-0 0, Hedgecorth 0-1 0-0 0, Donelson 0-1 0-0 0, Bassett 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-54 8-10 52.

Howard - Lambert 6-15 0-0 14, Watkins 2-9 5-10 9, M. Jones 3-10 0-0 7, Griffin 1-4 3-5 6, Wilson 1-6 1-2 3, Cota 1-1 0-0 2, Thomas 0-1 2-2 2, T. Jones 1-2 0-3 2, Dryver 0-5 0-0 0, George 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 15-56 11-22 45.

Halftime - NEO 28, Howard 14. 3-point goals - NEO 4-9 (Haley 3-3, Rees 1-2, Fraley 0-1, Thompson 0-1, Hedgecorth 0-1, Bassett 0-1), Howard 4-15 (Lambert 2-6, Griffin 1-4, M.Jones 1-1, Dryver 0-2, Wilson 0-1, George 0-1). Rebounds - NEO 36 (Markham 15), Howard 35 (M. Jones 11). Assists - NEO 6 (Hedgecorth 2), Howard 4 (M. Jones 2). Steals - NEO 5 (Haley 3), Howard 5 (M. Jones 2, Wilson 2). Blocked shots - NEO 2 (Rees 2), Howard 1 (Watkins). Turnovers - NEO 16, Howard 15. Total fouls - NEO 20, Howard 13. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - Rowland.