In its season debut Thursday, Northwest women’s basketball fell to Northeastern State 64-56 on the road in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
After an early first quarter lead, the Bearcats had a one-point advantage over the RiverHawks at the break, 27-26.
Then in the second half, the Bearcats’ efforts fell short, as a 6-0 run jumped Northeastern to a 46-40 lead at the end of the third quarter, with the RiverHawks eventually securing their victory in the end.
Northwest head coach Austin Meyer said his team needed to have a better effort defensively.
“Their inside play just destroyed us, we didn’t really have much resistance down there,” Meyer told Bearcat Radio after the game. “Kids that really didn’t score much for them last year were pretty effective.”
The Bearcats also struggled to find a groove throughout, finishing with a total of 16 turnovers, 18 personal fouls, and four second chance points.
“We’re much better offensively. I mean we had way too many turnovers,” Meyer said. “We had too many mistakes, we didn’t rebound and on post defense we weren’t very good.”
In her first career game, guard Molly Hartnett shined. The true freshman led the Bearcats in scoring with 22 points, shooting 10-for-16 from the field.
Hartnett also grabbed nine rebounds and had one steal on the night.
“She’s really good. She’s a playmaker,” Meyer told Bearcat Radio. “Hopefully our team will buy into it because with her out there, she’s going to make the right read, whether it be go finish or drive and kick.”
Senior Kylie Coleman was the only other player to score in double figures, adding 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Sophomore Jayna Green chipped in six points to go along with four assists and four blocks.
Northeastern had three players score in double figures in Zaria Collins (22 points), Cenia Hayes (20 points), and Shae Sanchez (11 points).
The Northwest men did not play due to COVID-19 within the Northeastern State team.
The Bearcats are back in action Saturday up against Rogers State Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Claremore, Oklahoma, followed by the debut of the men.