Driven by the threat of an impending winter storm, Northeastern A&M’s Lady Norse earned a 61-49 victory Wednesday night in the NEO Fieldhouse over the Seminole State College Belles.
Both schools agreed to change the game day after most of the state of Oklahoma was placed under a winter storm warning for Thursday and Friday by the National Weather Service.
“Given the fact that we weren’t notified until about noon Wednesday that the game was being moved from Thursday, we really didn’t play that bad,” Lady Norse head coach Jim Rowland said. “We just didn’t get any court preparation time for the game and it showed in places.”
With their eighth straight victory, the Lady Norse are 8-2 in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference and 14-6 overall. The loss dropped Seminole to 5-5 in the conference and 9-11 on the season.
“Our offense is continuing to struggle after scoring 61 points tonight and only 50 at Redlands on Monday,” Rowland said. “We’re getting the job done defensively, but our guards are struggling to hit shots that I think we need to hit.”
Seminole built a 6-2 lead on two consecutive field goals by Teshia Friswold and one by Trelishiea Prince in the first five minutes of the game.
Five points by Shea Bowden and a layup by Kashei Hopkins gave NEO a brief 9-8 lead with 10:56 until halftime.
After five lead changes over the next six minutes, the Lady Norse received a 3-point field goals from Brittany Woodard and Hopkins to forge a 21-16 lead with 2:15 until halftime.
Following a 3-pointer by Seminole’s Dani Wojciak, the Lady Norse responded with a layup by Jelena Cerina, two free throws from Hopkins and a 3-pointer by Bowden to construct a 28-19 lead at intermission.
Outscoring the Belles 14-6 in the first nine minutes of the second half, the Lady Norse pulled away to a 42-25 cushion. Six points by Cerina and five by Bowden, along with a 3-pointer by Ashton Pittman, accounted for NEO’s outburst.
Trailing 50-27, the Belles reeled off four points each by Shillalie Jones and Griswold to cut the deficit to 50-35 with 5:54 left in the game.
Three-point field goals by Brianna Manuatu, Pittman and Bowden, along with two free throws by Bowden, closed out the Lady Norse scoring.
While Bowden led the Lady Norse with 16 points, Cerina scored her third straight double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Griswold scored 13 points to lead the Belles along with 10 by Jones.
The Lady Norse outscored the Belles 30-6 from the 3-point area while the Belles held a 17-6 edge at the free throw line.
“We’ve got to stop sending people to the line,” Rowland said. “That just lets a team hang around.”