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Local Sports

Jan. 25, 2024Game | Basketball

Northwest 76, Central Missouri 68

(File photo courtesy Northwest Athletics)

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Northwest Missouri State used a second half surge to take down No. 16 Central Missouri Thursday night in Warrensburg.

The Bearcats (14-4, 8-4 MIAA) shot 69.2-percent (18-26) from the field in the final two quarters to earn their first win over a ranked opponent since January of 2017.

Northwest trailed UCM by two at halftime, but the Jennies pushed their advantage to eight points midway through the third quarter. Down 40-32, the 'Cats charged back with a 16-7 run capped by Laini Joseph's three-pointer in the final seconds to jump in front 48-47 entering the fourth.

The teams traded the lead six times early in the fourth quarter before Northwest took over for good on a layup from Emma Atwood. Molly Hartnett scored on the next two possessions, including a deep three-pointer, to push the Bearcats in front 63-57 with less than five minutes remaining. The Jennies got back within three points of Northwest with 1:35 remaining, but a Lindsey Kelderman three and stellar free throw shooting put the game away.

Hartnett led all scorers with 21 points. She also passed out six assists.

Jayna Green posted 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

Kelderman finished with 10 points and two assists.

Northwest finishes the road trip Saturday in Jefferson City against Lincoln. Tip off is scheduled for 1pm. Pregame on KXCV 90.5 and KRNW 88.9 begins at 12:30pm.