Dominating the game from the opening tipoff, Northeastern A&M's Lady Norse cruised to a 77-50 victory over the Crowder (Mo.) College Lady Riders Wednesday night in the Student Activities Center.
“About all I can say is that we played well enough to win,” Lady Norse head coach Jim Rowland said. “We were kind of lethargic in the first half.”
While closing out the home portion of the fall semester part of the schedule, the Lady Norse are 6-3 on the season. Crowder slips to 2-7 on the year.
The Lady Norse start a five-game road trip prior to the month-long Christmas break on Saturday in the second round of the Jayhawk Shoot-Out in Coffeyville, Kan.
The Lady Norse square off against 21st-ranked Kansas City (Kan.) Community College (7-1) at 9 a.m. in the east gym at Nellis Hall.
Returning to Coffeyville on Sunday, the Lady Norse conclude the Shoot-Out with a 7 p.m. game against the Independence (Kan.) Community College Lady Pirates (6-4).
Returning to Bi-State Athletic Conference action, the Lady Norse travel to Tonkawa on Monday for a 6 p.m. confrontation with the Northern Oklahoma College Lady Mavericks.
“Against Crowder we were able to overcome our slow play with a couple of runs that put the game out of reach,” Rowland said. “This was a difficult game to keep our focus and our energy level high.”
Freshman forward Nolisha Markham scored six points and sophomore center Denise Rosario added four points against her former team, along with a layup by Megan Fraley, to give the Lady Norse a 12-6 lead in the first five minutes of the game.
Four points by Autumn Thompson and a 3-point field goal by Fraley, along with a layup by Tasha Hedgecorth and a putback by Rosario, increased the Lady Norse lead to 23-14 with 7:05 left in the first half.
Consecutive field goals by Markham, Rosario and Fraley allowed the Lady Norse to maintain a 29-19 cushion at the five-minute mark.
The Lady Riders rallied on consecutive field goals by Afton Baldwin, Melanie Bowers and Tara Massey to cut the deficit to 29-25 with 3:48 until halftime.
A 3-pointer by Misty Haley, along with four points in the paint by Rosario and a layup by Fraley, created a 38-29 Lady Norse lead at halftime.
Crowder received 3-pointers from Julie Cupps and Blaire Larson, along with a layup by Larson, to trim the deficit to 41-37 in the first four minutes of the second half.
Clinging to a 49-43 lead, the Lady Norse received six straight points by Kali Bassett and four by Rosario, along with a short jump shot by Markham, to construct a 61-43 cushion with 8:43 remaining in the game.
Three-point field goals by Thompson, Markham and Hedgecorth fueled a 14-3 run over the next five minutes to give the Lady Norse a 75-46 advantage.
Sophomore center Brandie Sisk came off the bench to score the final Lady Norse points with 25 seconds left on the clock.
“We played good defense the second half,” Rowland said. “We out rebounded them 36-27 on the defensive boards which limited them to just one shot in most possessions.”
Rosario connected on 9 of 10 shots from the field and 3 of 4 free throws to lead all scorers with 21 points. She also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Markham contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots for the Lady Norse while Fraley added 11 points.
The Lady Norse hit 31 of 69 (45 percent) from the field, including 7 of 25 from 3-point range, and 8 of 10 (80 percent) at the free throw line.
Larson and Baldwin paced the Lady Riders with 13 points each.
Crowder sank 22 of 70 (31 percent) from the field, including 3 of 8 from the 3-point arc. The Lady Riders were 3 of 5 at the line.
Northeastern A&M 77,
Crowder (Mo.) College 50
Crowder (2-7) - Larson 5-16, 2-2 13, Baldwin 6-11 0-0 13, Massey 3-12 0-1 6, Bowers 3-8 0-0 6, Cupps 2-3 0-0 5, Simmons 1-9 1-2 3, A. Richardson 1-2 0-0 2, Jones 1-5 0-0 2, Meredith 0-1 0-0 0, L. Richardson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 22-70 3-5 50.
Northeastern A&M (6-3) - Rosario 9-10 3-4 21, Markham 6-12 0-0 13, Fraley 5-10 0-0 11, Bassett 3-9 0-0 8, Thompson 2-9 2-2 7, Hedgecorth 2-4 2-2 7, Haley 2-9 1-2 6, Rees 1-3 0-0 2, Sisk 1-2 0-0 0, Ferreira 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-69 8-10 77.
Halftime - NEO 38, CCC 29. 3-point goals - CCC 3-8 (Cupps 1-1, Baldwin 1-2, Larson 1-3, Meredith 0-1, Bowers 0-1), NEO 7-25 (Bassett 2-8, Markham 1-2, Hedgecorth 1-3, Fraley 1-3, Thompson 1-4, Haley 1-4, Sisk 0-1). Rebounds - CCC 40 (Larson 7), NEO 47 (Rosario 11). Assists - CCC 5 (Bowers 2, JOnes 2), NEO 18 (Hedgecorth 5). Steals - CCC 8 (Bowers 5), NEO 12 (Hedgecorth 3, Markham 3). Blocked shots - CCC 1 (L. Richardson), NEO 12 (Markham 5). Turnovers - CCC 24, NEO 20. Total fouls - CCC 12, NEO 13. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none.