MIAMI — Three freshmen rode to the rescue of Northeastern A&M.
Kiarra Brooks of Sapulpa, Raven Blackbear of Mounds and Berryhill’s Emily McAdams combined for 38 points while leading the Lady Norse to an 85-76 win over Neosho County (Kansas) Community College here Thursday, Nov. 8.
“Those girls are growing up in their own way,” Lady Norse coach Jim Rowland said. “I like the way they are playing right now. If they keep doing that, we will keep getting better.”
Brooks was NEO’s leading scorer with 24 points while McAdams and Blackbear had eight and six, respectively.
Brooks got eight of hers in the decisive fourth quarter, when the Lady Norse held a 25-19 advantage to pull away.
Northeastern A&M led by three at the break, but fell behind on three occasions in the third quarter when it found the mark on only three of 18 shots, only 18.7 percent.
But a 3-point goal by McAdams with 70 seconds left in the third put NEO up for good, 58-57.
It was 60-57 NEO heading into the final stanza, but Neosho County pulled to within a point with 5:26 left.
A bucket by Brooks and a trey by Blackbear helped the Lady Norse take charge.
They were up by as many as 11 points down the stretch.
“I thought our freshmen did a good job of keeping us in the game,” Rowland said. “They didn’t let it get away from them. It could have got ugly, and they didn’t.”
Mununga had her third straight double double for the Lady Norse, scoring 17 points while grabbing 12 rebounds.
Joining Brooks and Mununga in double figures for NEO were Jo’Nah Johnson with 14 and Megan Jackson with 13 points.
Neosho County, now 0-2, got 20 from Erica Birch then had Jessica Jones and Chrissy Brown come off the bench to score 18 and 11, respectively.
“I didn’t know they could shoot it that well. They did. They were hot,” Rowland said.
Neosho County shot 48 percent from the field, including 72 percent (8 of 11) in the second quarter, compared to 36.5 on the night for the Lady Norse.
“I thought our defense did a better job in the second half,” Rowland said. “It wasn’t pretty at times, but we did a lot better than in the first half with our halftime adjustments.
“I thought our girls responded.”
The Lady Norse travel to Great Bend, Kansas for weekend games in the Barton County Classic.
They play the hosts Friday then tackle Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College Saturday.