Poor second-half shooting dooms Lady Rangers

 

February 17, 2017

Leslie Nation

Deja Beechum (24) swings the ball around the perimeter as the Lady Rangers search for the open shot.

The Northwestern Oklahoma State's woman's basketball team was defeated by a final score of 67-56 in Thursday night's contest with East Central University.

The Lady Rangers were unable to build any momentum in the second half after starting out the game ahead by a score of 20-to-8. Hammon, Oklahoma, native Kori Barrios led the way for the Lady Rangers with 16 points as well as four rebounds. Junior Kalea King continued her stellar season with 15 points and six rebounds.

Statistically the game was pretty even, despite the Lady Tigers impressive shooting performance. After a rough first quarter, East Central shot the ball extremely well in the second and third quarter to finish the evening going 24 of 49 (49 percent), while the Lady Rangers went the complete opposite direction after a stellar first quarter, finishing the game 17-of-53 (32.1 percent.)

Northwestern got off to a furious start thanks in large part to Barrios, who scored eight points in the 14-2 run that the Lady Rangers started the game on. Three more points from Barrios combined with a brilliant performance from the Lady Rangers defense allowed the home squad to jump out to a 20-8 first quarter lead. Northwestern held East Central to just 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) shooting from the floor and prevented the Lady Tigers from getting the ball inside throughout the quarter.


That defense that allowed such a large lead for Northwestern was quickly figured out by the Lady Tigers. East Central began to find ways inside the Lady Ranger defense and went on an 11-2 run to start the second quarter. That run included four straight made buckets from the visiting team. The Lady Rangers were able to gain composure and battled all the way into the halftime break, tied 33-33. East Central's strong second quarter raised their shooting percentage to 50 percent (14-of-28) after the first half of action. Northwestern, led by Barrios who totaled 14 points in the half, shot 46 percent (12-of-26) from the field and out-rebounded the Lady Tigers 16-to-13 in the half.

East Central took their first lead of the game in the opening moments of the second half with a quick jump-shot. Senior Ashley Pride quickly erased that lead, converting on two free throw attempts that tied the game back up. East Central would stay consistent throughout the quarter and built a seven point lead with just over four minutes remaining. The teams would trade baskets back and forth all the way into the change of quarter, where East Central still had the advantage, 51-44.


The final quarter of the contest started out slow for both teams as the teams combined for just six combined field goals throughout the first seven minutes of the quarter. The slow-paced action frustrated the Lady Ranger offense, preventing them from making a major run at the lead all the way until just under two minutes, where a King jump shot would narrow the lead to 58-50. A defensive stop for the Lady Ranger defense was followed up by a botched offensive possession that forced a foul on a wide open lay-up on Lady Tiger center Whitney Stotler. She converted on both free throws to extend the lead back out to 10. Another bad offensive possession and a questionable foul call on sophomore Deja Beechum gave the Lady Tigers two more free throw opportunities, which they converted on once again, to make it a 12-point game with under a minute left. Northwestern battled all the way to the end on the defensive end of the ball, but East Central converted on their free throw chances down the stretch to never truly let the Lady Rangers back in the ballgame.

Up Next

Northwestern will hit the road for their final away game of the year at Oklahoma Baptist this Saturday at 1 p.m.

Leslie Nation

Bailey Forell (pictured right) tries to get around the boxout from ECU's Whitney Stotler (1) as the two battle for the rebound after the foul shot.

 

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