Lady Rangers Sweep Itawamba for First Time Since 2005-06
February 8, 2013By Kevin Maloney of NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SENATOBIA – For the second time in as many meetings against Itawamba, every shot seemed to fall as Northwest connected on 53 percent of its attempts for the game and knocked off the north division leading Lady Indians 78-71 Thursday night at Howard Coliseum.
Northwest earned a regular season sweep over Itawamba for the first time since the 2005-06 season and improved to 15-5 overall and 6-3 in league play. Itawamba dropped to 13-7 overall and 7-2 in the north and still owns a 1-game lead in the standings.
Itawamba controlled the tempo early and led for the opening 10 minutes. Their lead grew to a game-high six with 13:34 to play in the half before Northwest started hitting shots all over the floor.
Northwest closed the half hitting 11 of its final 13 shots and led 47-38 at the break.
Nikki McChristian and Shaquilla Isom scored 10 points apiece in the opening half and combined to hit 8 of 11 shots from the floor while the Lady Rangers as a team shot 61 percent.
Northwest quickly extended its lead to double figures in the opening minutes of the second half and led by as many as 13 with 13:15 to play.
Itawamba closed the gap to just three, 61-58, thanks to a 13-3 run over 4:04 but wouldn't get any closer when the Lady Rangers responded with nine unanswered points to put the game out of reach.
A total of 10 different Lady Rangers scored in the second half as the bench stepped up and combined for 26 points on the night against 27 points for Itawamba.
McChristian tied a career-high with 18 points on 7 of 8 shooting while Isom added 14 points, five rebounds and five assists and Monique Biggins chipped in nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Bethany Lytle scored seven points while Jearica McBride and Catonya Newsom added six apiece.
Itawamba had four scorers in double figures, led by Ty-Nita Baker with 12 points on just 3 of 11 shooting. Ashley Wiley scored 11 and Ayanna Lynn and Latoya Collins added 10 each.
Northwest picked up 22 assists on the night on 29 makes and turned it over just 12 times.
The Lady Rangers take to the road their next two games, traveling to Mississippi Delta on Feb. 14 and East Mississippi on Feb. 18 – two tough road environments.
Live stats available for both games at www.sidearmstats.com/northwestms/wbball.