NSU women’s basketball falls to Oklahoma Baptist
TNE Editor

NSU women’s basketball falls to Oklahoma Baptist


Ebba Moberg

TNE Writer

The RiverHawks failed to recover from a second half stumble on Monday evening and fell 68-50 to Oklahoma Baptist. NSU shot 2-for-28 in the final 20 minutes after holding a 39-30 advantage over the Lady Bison at the halftime. The loss sends NSU to a 1-3 overall record, while OBU will go to 3-1.

“The Oklahoma Baptist game was a tough loss,” said Bailee Eldred, senior guard. “We came out playing really well and got a lead. However, the second half got us. We did not maintain the same energy, execution and focus as we had in the first half. That game got away from us and the loss was completely self-inflicted.”

NSU opened the game with ten straight unanswered points and led as many as 14 in the first quarter. The turning point of the game occurred as the RiverHawks were leading by ten midway through the third quarter. NSU missed their next 15 shots from the field and OBU finished the period on a 21-3 run and never looked back. The Lady Bison were led by junior-transfer Autumn Avina who recorded 23 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds. OBU’s Charissa Price and Victoria Blankenship contributed double-figure scoring efforts as well with 12 points each.

“I am upset about the game against Oklahoma Baptist,” said Morgan Lee, freshman guard. “We are moving forward to our upcoming games by evaluating what we did good and bad and practicing on our weaknesses. During this last game we started off really well, but we need to improve on coming into the second half as we did the first half and not giving up.”

Eldred paced the RiverHawks for the second game in a row with 19 points, one point below her career mark. The NSU senior also added eight rebounds and had three steals. Senior Cailyn Long was NSU’s second leading scorer with 11 points, all of which came in the first quarter. Sophomore Cenia Hayes was third on the team with nine points and five rebounds. Senior Joi Bertrand scored six points and matched her career mark with four blocks.

“Cailyn long, Cenia Hayes and Bailee Eldred have helped us gain some confidence offensively,” said Fala Bullock, NSU women’s basketball head coach. “They each grew a lot this past year and are bringing that to the floor on a daily basis.”

Bullock is treating this game as any other and is using it as a learning experience for the RiverHawks to improve in the future. One way of doing this is by looking at the other teams and getting acquainted with how they play, seeing what they did well and how the RiverHawks can incorporate this into their own game style.

“We saw some great things from the start,” said Bullock. “Our offense and high shooting percentage was the best we have seen to start a game. As we move forward we need to continue to sustain leads when we have them and dig in to stop the other team’s momentum. I look forward to getting this team back to be a strong program and getting our fans and student body involved again like it used to be.”

With the majority of the players on the roster being upperclassmen, coach Bullock’s expectations are that the experience and influence of maturity will start to take over as the RiverHawks establish themselves and their team identity.

“I have very high expectations going forward,” said Eldred. “I am my biggest critic and I need to better my game in every aspect. I think our team chemistry and dynamic is building every day and we are making strides in the right direction. If we can put four quarters together and bring a focus and energy throughout the entirety of the game, we will be successful.”

NSU women’s basketball will be back on the road facing Arkansas-Fort Smith next at 5:30 p.m. Wed., Nov. 28. This will be the RiverHawks last non-conference game before facing Pittsburg State and Missouri Southern in December.

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