(MARYVILLE, Mo.) — The eighth-ranked Jennies came out victorious, 67-62 at Northwest Missouri State in a game that was decided in the final minute at Bearcat Arena on Saturday.
The Jennies (14-2, 8-1 MIAA) earned their ninth win in 10 games, despite losing forward Keuna Flax to injury with 13:55 left in the game. UCM fell behind, 14-9 in the first 4:16, but scored the next seven points to take a 16-14 lead with under 14 minutes in the opening half.
UCM would go on a 10-5 spurt over the next 6:04, bumping their lead to seven with help from BreAnna Lewis, who scored four of her team-high 21 points during the stretch.
Northwest Missouri (5-11, 2-7 MIAA) cut the Jennies’ lead to one at 26-25 after a pair of triples from Ashleigh Nelson and Monique Stevens. The Jennies built their lead back to seven thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Justina Prairie Chief and Lewis and four points from Shelby Winkelmann. The Bearcats made it a 38-35 game at halftime after a jumper by Annie Mathews with 13 seconds remaining.
The Jennies’ bench outscored NWMSU’s second unit, 15-0 in the first half and held a commanding 20-4 lead in points in the paint.
Central Missouri’s defense held the Bearcats to two points in the first 7:26 of the second half, increasing their edge to seven points. However, Northwest Missouri went on a 10-3 run to knot the game at 47 apiece with 7:29 left.
Ariel Easton gave the Bearcats their first lead since 13:11 in the opening half, converting on a layup to give Northwest Missouri a 54-52 advantage with 5:09 remaining.
The game’s final tie came at 4:56 when Winkelmann scored on a layup, evening the tally at 54-54. Breonna Embray was fouled by Mathews and sank both free-throws to put the Jennies ahead for good, 56-54.
The Bearcats closed to within a point at 59-58 following a pair of free-throw makes from Nelson, but the Jennies maintained their lead to the final buzzer to extend their win streak against Northwest Missouri to four games.
Junior Revonnia Howard set a new career-best with 17 rebounds to go along with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor. Winkelmann added 13 with an assist and a steal.
The Jennies are now 6-2 on the road.
Next on Central Missouri’s schedule is a trip to Jefferson City to play Lincoln on Jan. 22 for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.