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Huge First Half Propels RiverHawks

Northeastern State sunk 15 three pointers and played solid first half defense to roll past the Nebraska-Kearney women’s basketball team, 85-57, Saturday afternoon in Tahlequah, Okla.
This was the first-ever meeting between the RiverHawks (8-4, 3-1) and the Lopers (4-7, 1-3). A perennial 20 win program, NSU upset nationally-ranked Fort Hays State, 54-44, on Thursday night.
In the first half, Northeastern showed why they are among the league leaders in three pointers made per game and scoring defense. The ‘Hawks went 10 of 18 (55.6%) from behind the arc while limiting UNK to a 6 of 28 effort (21.4%) from the field to lead 48-18.
Individually, senior guard Taylor Lewis had the hottest hand, making 5 of 6 triples over the first 20 minutes to score 21.
UNK did rebound in the second half, outscoring the ‘Hawks 39-37 thanks to 56.7% (17 of 30) field goal shooting. However, the Lopers never could put together a serious run as NSU made 14 of 23 shots (60.9%) which included 5 of 8 threes.

Taylor finished with 26 points on 9 of 11 shooting (6 of 7 threes) with three others reaching double digits. Reserve Chelsey Stricklen was in that trio as she had 13 points (3 of 6 threes), five assists and two blocks in 26 minutes.

Finishing 15 of 26 (57.7%) from the three point line, Northeastern also had a plus five rebounding margin, 35-30 and scored 18 points off of 17 Kearney turnovers.

For UNK, four starters scored in double figures, paced by senior point guard Ivy Jones (Vallejo, Calif.) with 12. She had five field goals for a second straight contest and also handed out five assists.

Juniors Nicole Arp (Kearney H.S.) and Shelby Zimmerman (Tri-County H.S.), along with sophomore Queen Ohamara (Lincoln North Star), each had 10 points apiece. The trio also combined for 15 rebounds.

UNK hosts two more top MIAA teams next week as Missouri Western State visits Wednesday night and Washburn comes to town on Saturday afternoon.