MIAMI — The Northeastern A&M women picked right up where they left off.
Idle since Dec. 5, the Lady Norse rolled to a 68-55 win over Murray State College here Wednesday, Jan. 9.
“Overall, getting the cobwebs out this first game after break and having that much time off, I am happy with the win,” NEO coach Jim Rowland said. “We have to move on from this and go get better now.”
It took the Lady Norse a while to get rolling, but once they did, it was relatively smooth sailing.
Murray State kept the game close until late in the second quarter, when the Lady Norse used an 8-4 run to create a 34-23 halftime lead.
NEO opened up some breathing room with a 17-10 margin in the third quarter.
After trailing by five in the first quarter, the 24th-ranked Lady Norse led by as many as 21 points early in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we shot the ball well,” Rowland said.
The Lady Norse found the mark on 42.9 percent from the field on the night, but was 17 of 33 (52 percent) in the middle two quarters.
Four players scored in double figures for NEO, topped by Bethy Mununga’s 21 points. She had eight in the first half, with all of those coming in the second quarter.
“I put her in the blocks more and posted up because they couldn’t stop her,” Rowland said. “She is her own worst enemy. No one is going to stop her. She is going to stop herself.”
Kiarra Brooks, Jo’Nah Johnson and Megan Jackson joined her in double figures.
Brooks finished with 14 while Johnson and Jackson added 13 and 11, respectively.
Mununga now has 26 doubles in her last 28 games after pulling down 17 rebounds.
“I am excited about that,” Rowland said. “That tells me that they were in the gym over the break, then they put in work when they came back here. They are locked in mentally.”
Johnson was a pleasant surprise for Rowland considering she’d had surgery over the break to repair a meniscus tear suffered in a scrimmage in October.
“She played through it and it finally started to catch up on her a little bit,” Rowland said. “We just decided to go ahead and have the surgery, then be back in two weeks. We were surprised because we thought it would be three (weeks) and she would come back for the Connors game (on Monday, Jan. 14).
“But she is a fighter and she played well.”
Aaliyah Endsley had 15 points to lead the Lady Aggies. Kes Reeves came off the bench to add 10.
NEO, now 11-4 overall and 3-0 in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference, has won 51 straight home games.