Ryan Hawkins

Northwest Missouri State senior Ryan Hawkins competes against Emporia State Thursday at White Auditorium.

No. 3-ranked Northwest Missouri State men’s basketball extended its win streak to 13 games with a 69-62 victory over Emporia State Thursday at White Auditorium.

With No. 15 Washburn’s loss and Northwest’s win, the Bearcats clinched their eighth consecutive MIAA regular season title.

The Bearcats (18-1) also extended the nation’s longest active road winning streak to 17 in a row behind a game-high 34 points from Northwest Missouri State senior Ryan Hawkins.

Hawkins shot 14-of-22 from the field, going on to notch his 25th career double-double with 10 rebounds.

Northwest Missouri State sophomore Luke Waters added 15 points. Northwest Missouri State senior Trevor Hudgins had 11 points.

Seven minutes into the matchup, the Bearcats had an 11-4 lead. Then, Emporia State’s Austin Downing scored 11 of his the team’s first 15 points to give the Hornets (8-10) a 15-13 lead with 10:11 to play in the first half.

After trading runs, the Hornets closed the half on an 11-2 spurt to get within two at the break, trailing Northwest 34-32.

“They just kept making runs at us. We couldn’t get a real stop,” Northwest Missouri State head coach Ben McCollum told Bearcat Radio after the game. “We couldn’t really put them away. We had a few wasted possessions and then I thought toward the end we closed it out great.”

With five minutes to play, the game was knotted at 54-54, but the Bearcats managed to close the game on a 15-8 run to secure the road win, 69-62.

After a three-pointer from Emporia State’s Duncan Fort cut the Bearcats’ lead to one point, Hawkins lit up.

He scored the next seven points for the Bearcats, giving Northwest a 65-59 lead with 1:51 to play. A layup from Hudgins with 1:02 to play pushed Northwest to victory, 69-62.

“We shared the ball a little bit better. The ball didn’t move quite like I want it to yet but we’re getting there and I mean I just love our kids, they’re competing, but we have a tough one ahead of us here,” McCollum said.

Northwest faces No. 15 Washburn Saturday in Topeka, Kansas, with a tip set for 3 p.m. at Lee Arena following the women’s game.

Emporia State women 69, Northwest 58

Northwest Missouri State women’s basketball fell to 7-11 on the season with a 69-58 loss to Emporia State Thursday at White Auditorium.

The Bearcats jumped out to a 8-7 lead with five minutes remaining in the first quarter, but the Hornets responded by regaining the lead, 28-24, at the break.

Then Emporia State’s Tre’Zure Jobe heated up in the third period, scoring 11 of her game-high 24 points.

With 3:07 remaining in the contest, Northwest Missouri State freshman Molly Hartnett and Northwest Missouri State freshman Caely Kesten both hit three-pointers of their own to cut the Hornets’ lead down to five.

Emporia State answered with a 9-2 run to secure the victory, 69-58.

Northwest Missouri State senior Jaelyn Haggard led the Bearcats with 15 points off of five three-pointers, while Kesten added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from three-point land.

Northwest takes on Washburn Saturday in Topeka, Kansas, with a tip set for 1 p.m. at Lee Arena.

Micaela Dea is a sports reporter for News-Press NOW. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Growing up in San Diego, Micaela loves to travel, meet new people, and tell stories. Have a story idea? Don't hesitate to email!