(TAHLEQUAH, Okla.) – The No. 8 Jennies earned an 84-73 win over the Northeastern State RiverHawks at the NSU Event Center on Saturday afternoon.
Central Missouri (9-1, 3-0 MIAA) and Northeastern State (5-6, 2-2 MIAA) battled to a 73-73 tie with 4:35 to go in the game before the Jennies closed the contest scoring 11 unanswered points to keep their win streak intact at four games.
A back-and-forth contest was highlighted by 12 lead changes and eight ties. UCM started out fast to a 10-point edge at 16-6 just 6:38 into the game — six of those points belonging to Keuna Flax. Northeastern State scored the next 10 points to knot the game at 16 apiece with 10:30 left in the opening half. The RiverHawks gained their biggest lead of the first half when Sarah Sagely nailed a jumper with 1:55 to increase NSU’s lead to three at 35-32.
The Jennies closed the first half with two points from Shelby Winkelmann and five from Brielle Wattley, who converted on a three-point play and would later sink two free throws to put the Jennies in front, 39-38 at halftime.
The RiverHawks opened the second half on a 15-8 run to re-gain the lead 53-47, their largest of the game. The Jennies fought over the next 3:49 and BreAnna Lewis gave UCM the lead at 59-58, hitting a jumpshot with 10:19 on the clock. Lewis accounted for six of the Jennies’ next 13 points, including a jumper that pushed UCM ahead, 61-60 and broke a 61-61 deadlock with 8:57 left. With the Jens clinging to a two-point lead, Quinnecia Twine hit a three-pointer to bump the lead to five at 71-66 with 6:43 remaining.
NSU quickly erased the five-point hole after a three-point shot from Fontana Tate and two free-throw conversions from Chelsey Beathard. Tate drew a foul from Flax and hit two free throws to give Northeastern State its last lead of the game at 73-71 with five minutes to go.
After Twine made two free throws to tie the game at 73-apiece with 4:35 left, the Jennies kept their foot on the gas, scoring the game’s final 11 points to secure their third conference victory in as many games.
The Jennies scored 14 second-chance points, nine coming in the second half. Flax led the way with 22 points, the eighth time this season she has finished as UCM’s leading scorer. Lewis added 19 with Twine chipping in 13. Revonnia Howard pulled down 11 rebounds, her second-highest total of the season. The Jennies are 9-1 for the second-consecutive season.
UCM will be home to play Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday, Jan. 4 for a 1:30 p.m. tipoff.