(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Five Northwest seniors can at least call themselves co-conference champions after their final home game.
Northwest used a 14-0 run in the second half to help bury Southwest Baptist 89-62 on Wednesday, securing no worse than a share of the MIAA Regular Season Championship at Bearcat Arena. It's the second co-conference championship for Deshaun Cooper and Bryston Williams, two of five Bearcats who won their final game in Maryville.
The team cut down the nets after the game, but still need a win in the regular season finale at Central Missouri on Saturday to clinch their first outright MIAA title since 1987.
The Bearcats started sluggish against SBU (13-14, 6-12), falling behind 17-11 just over six minutes in. Northwest (21-6, 16-2) fought back to tie it 31-31 with four minutes to go in the first half before grabbing a seven-point advantage at the break.
They proceeded to drop 49 points in the second half as Cooper finished with a game-high 24 points. Fellow senior Dillon Starzl dropped 21, while Williams added 10 points and six rebounds.
Southwest Baptist Women 72, Northwest 76
(MARYVILLE, Mo.) A second-half surge led to six Northwest players finishing in double figures as the Bearcats defeated Southwest Baptist 76-72, clinching a spot in the MIAA Tournament.
The win breaks a three-game losing streak and maintains the potential for the Bearcats to host a first-round tournament game on Monday.
Northwest (10-15, 7-11) opened the game on a 7-0 run before SBU tied it midway through the half. SBU (10-15, 5-13) outscored Northwest by eight over the next ten minutes to take a 36-29 lead into the locker room.
Northwest proceeded to shoot over 60 percent from the floor in the second half, knocking down 4 of 8 three point attempts and going a perfect 9 for 9 from the charity stripe. They benefited from strong post play, outscoring SBU 38-24 in the paint. Tember Schechinger posted a team-high 16 points, while Ashleigh Nelson added 13. Meridee Scott, Shelby Mustain, and Annie Mathews all had 10.