Strong Finish Lifts Northwest Past Missouri Western

Published 02/05 2014 08:14PM

Updated 02/05 2014 11:48PM

(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Trailing by one point with less than four minutes left, Northwest Missouri State (8-12, 5-8 MIAA) went 3-3 from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line to hang on for a 50-44 win over rival Missouri Western (9-11, 4-9 MIAA).

Despite a strong finish, neither team's offense was impressive throughout the game. The Bearcats shot 26-percent from the field and 0-6 from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes, but still held a 21-17 lead at halftime. The Griffons made just 31-percent of their shots for the game, and went 1-15 on three-point attempts.

Missouri Western's only lost twice in its last six games, and were hoping to take a one-game lead on Northwest in the MIAA standings with six regular season contests left.

The win boosts the Bearcats into tenth in the MIAA with the Griffs dropping to 12th -- the final seed to still reach the MIAA Tournament.

Northwest's Ariel Easton led all scorers with 16 points. Easton did most of her damage hitting all seven attempts from the free throw line. Ashleigh Nelson and Shelby Mustain each added eight points.

Just like their rivals from Maryville, the Griffons only had one player score in double-digits. Tiffanie Abrams had 13 points on 5-11 shooting. Quenisha Lockett had eight points and four rebounds.

Missouri Western held an advantage scoring 28 points in the paint to Northwest's 18.

The Griffons will host the Bearcats February 22nd. Both teams will be on the road this Saturday with Missouri Western playing at Lindenwood, and Northwest playing at Lincoln.

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