Western women use big second half to cruise past UNK, 71-50

The Missouri Western women’s basketball team forced 30 turnovers and outscored Nebraska-Kearney by 14 points in the second half cruising to the 71-50 victory. The Griffons were led by JaQuitta Dever and Heather Howard with 14 points apiece as the Griffons improve to 10-3 overall and 3-2 in MIAA play.

The Griffons forced 15 turnovers and made all six of its free throws claiming a 33-26 halftime lead. The Griffons played 13 players with with all of them playing more than two minutes.

The Griffons and the Lopers played the first 6:10 of the game to a tie at 12. A Sharniece Lewis three with 13:37 to play gave the Griffons the lead for the rest of the half. Four straight free throws by Alex Saxen and Dever gave the Griffons its largest lead of the half at 24-16 with 5:58 to play.

UNK cut the Griffon lead to 28-25 after a Melissa Norman free throw with 3:21 to play but the Griffons closed on a 5-1 run which was capped by a three by Brittany Griswold giving MWSU the seven point half time lead.

Ten different Griffons scored in the half with Howard leading the way with seven points and five rebounds. The Lopers were led by Shelby Zimmerman with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting.

Howard opened the second half hitting a jumper and a three giving MWSU the 38-26 lead with 18:27 to play. The Lopers fought back cutting the Griffons lead to six at 40-34 after an Nicole Arp layup with 15:27 to play.

The rest of the game belonged to the MWSU outscoring the Lopers 31-16 on their way to their largest victory of the season. All 14 players saw the floor for the Griffons with eleven scoring at least two points.

Dever dumped in 12 of her 14 points in the second half helping the Griffons score 23 points off turnovers. They also had 19 steals to go along with 11 assists. Alicia Bell and Dever each had four steals while Lanicia Lawrence dished out five assists. The Griffons made 20-of-25 free throws and 22-of-60 field goals. The Griffons dominated the bench points scoring 42 to the Lopers 15.

The Lopers shot just 37.3-percent (19-51) in the game with Norman collecting a double-double scoing 13 points and snaring 15 rebounds. The Lopers fall to 4-8 overall and 1-4 in MIAA play.

The Griffons return to action on Saturday, January 12 hosting rival Northwest Missouri State University. Game time is set for 1:30 pm from the MWSU Fieldhouse in St. Joseph, Mo.

— MWSU Sports Information —