Northwest's Season Ends in First Round of MIAA Tournament

Published 03/03 2014 11:11PM

Updated 03/04 2014 09:56AM

(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Monday's meeting at Bearcat Arena pitted two teams that had stumbled down the stretch of the regular season. An overtime win against Northeastern State in January helped put Northwest in position to host a first-round game in the MIAA Tournament. 

The Bearcats could not turn the trick twice, suffering a season-ending 47-42 loss to the Riverhawks. Northwest dropped five of their last six games to end Michael Smith's first season as head coach with a 10-17 record.

The teams traded punches until a 9-0 run gave NSU (11-16, 7-12) an eight-point lead with 11:20 to go in the first half. Northwest was able to pull within one midway through the half but couldn't tie it until a Meridee Scott three-pointer made it 26-26 with 2:21 remaining. 

A late Chelsea Betheard trey, one of seven given up by the Bearcats in the first half, gave the Riverhawks a 29-26 advantage heading to the locker room.

Northwest forced four more ties over the next 12 minutes before NSU rattled off seven unanswered to pull away. The Bearcats would have to play catch up for the rest of the game, but couldn't close the gap to fewer than four points. 

Ashleigh Nelson matched NSU's Fontana Tate with a game-high 18 points. Ariel Easton, named an All-MIAA Third Team selection earlier in the day, added nine points and eight rebounds.

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