MIAMI — Extending their current winning streak to three games, No. 17 ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College earned an 89-57 victory Thursday, over the Missouri Southern State University junior varsity in the NEO Field House.
With the win the Lady Norse are 3-1 on the season. The Lady Norse have a week before traveling to Sedalia, Missouri, Nov. 17-18, to compete in the State Fair Community College Classic.
NEO faces Three Rivers Community College (3-0) from Poplar Bluff at 1 p.m. Friday before squaring off against host State Fair (2-1) at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“We played all right,” Lady Norse head coach Jim Rowland said. “I understand that a JV team isn’t going to be as good as Coffeyville, Angelina or another JUCO team, but I still thought that our kids responded better offensively.
“I looked down at one of my players on the bench and I said, ‘Boy, it’s the first time we’ve seen 63 points since the first week of the season’”, Rowland said. “I just want our team to get some confidence in themselves and really feel good about the way they let the ball go.
“We’ve got stop being so passive and start taking the open shot,” Rowland said. “We did a better job tonight sharing the basketball and that’s what needs to happen more with this team.”
Under the direction of former Lady Norse assistant Kelby Fritz, the Lady Lions are in their first year of competition with a roster of six players.
“We had to leave a starter at home because her health insurance expired yesterday (Wednesday),” Fritz said. “So she could not play for 48 hours. They said she could play Friday, but not tonight.”
The discrepancy between the two programs appeared from the opening tipoff.
The Lady Norse constructed a 22-6 cushion in the first quarter before carrying a 41-21 advantage to the locker room at intermission.
Veteran guard Mikayla Schulanberger scored 14 of her 19 total points in the first 20 minutes while Bethy Mununga contributed 10. The Lady Norse offense connected on 16 of 33 field goals in the first two quarters for 49 percent.
NEO scored 24 points in each of the third and fourth quarters as the six Lady Lions tallied 36 total points.
“I thought we kind of got lackadaisical in the second half defensively,” Rowland said. “But our kids still played with a little more energy than they have in the past.
“I had already told Kelby that we weren’t going to pressure them or run the score up,” Rowland said. “I just wanted my team to settle in and play.”
Along with Schlanberger’s 19 points, Mununga scored 18, Megan Jackson 13, Eneritz Larranaga 11, Alexus Lambert 11, Mariam Gnanou 8, Alexus Geans 7 and Morgan Lutes 2.
The Lady Norse hit 38 of 75, including 9 of 29 from 3-point range for 51 percent from the field and 4 of 5 for 80 percent at the free throw line.
Leading scorer for the Lady Lions was Showalter with 22 total points while Lacy contributed 13, Estes 11, Bailey 6 and Gepford 5.