Phoenix wire report
MARYVILLE, Mo. – The Northeastern State men’s basketball team lost a 20-point lead the game in falling 73-72 to Northwest Missouri State in MIAA action at Bearcat Arena on Thursday night.
The RiverHawks (14-5, 7-4 MIAA) built a 42-22 lead at the 5:42 mark of the opening half on the strength of a 73-percent shooting performance from the field.
Northwest Missouri State found its rhythm and used a 15-4 run to cut the deficit to 46-37 at intermission.
The Bearcats kept chipping away at NSU’s lead over the majority of the second half, and Conner Crooker made a pair of free throws at 6:35 to give his team its first lead of the game of 59-57.
Conner Crooker converted a game-winning three-point play with just 4.4 seconds remaining after junior guard Bryton Hobbs missed a pair of free throws on the other end.
“Being able to win in this league is a fragile thing, and our guys took too many things for granted tonight,” NSU coach Larry Gipson said. “Several of our guys started to think about themselves ahead of the team. We were never in sync all night.”
Crooker led all scorers with 24 points off the bench. He was 7-for-11 from the field and 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. Grant Cozad added 19 and Williams scored 17 for the Bearcats.
DeMasters scored a season-high 19 points on 5-of-6 shooting. He was also 9-for-10 at the free-throw line. Senior forward Jermaine Bransford added 17 points for NSU.
Northwest Missouri 67, NSU 64
Northeastern State women’s basketball team saw its five-game win streak come to an end in the loss to Northwest Missouri State at Bearcat Arena.
NWMSU’s Monique Stevens, who entered the game averaging 6.7 points per game and was just 8-for-48 (16.7 percent) from beyond the arc this season. She finished with a career-high 20 points and converted on 6 of 9 3-pointers.
“They shot the ball really well,” NSU coach Randy Gipson said. “The big surprise was (Monique) Stevens. She had a great shooting night, and I did not see that coming. They came ready to play. We were a little tentative until we got way behind in the game. We couldn’t quite come back.”
While the RiverHawks drop to 13-6 overall and 8-3 in MIAA), the Bearcats (11-7, 5-5 MIAA) ended a short two-game skid and improved to 8-1 at home.
Ashleigh Nelson added 12 and Maggie Marnin dropped in 10 for the home side.
Senior guard Taylor Lewis led Northeastern State with 18 points, sophomore guard Chelsey Stricklen scored 12 off the bench, and senior forward Sarah Green added 11.