NSU women’s basketball loses battle against UA-Fort Smith
TNE Editor

NSU women’s basketball loses battle against UA-Fort Smith


Ebba Moberg

TNE Writer

NSU fought but could not hold onto a third quarter lead as they stumbled late to a 75-62 loss last Wednesday evening at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. Holding onto a 55-53 advantage with just over three minutes left in the third quarter, the RiverHawks went ice cold for the next eight minutes, while the Lions scored 17 straight. Wednesday’s loss sends Northeastern State to a 2-5 overall record, while UA-Fort Smith moves up to 2-6.

“We battled and shot well on Wednesday and did a pretty good job taking care of the ball against an athletic group,” said Heidi Messer, NSU women’s basketball asst. coach. “Right now, our biggest challenge is putting together a complete game. Our consistency and tenacity in the second half can improve. We are always focused on making ourselves a better defensive team.

Senior Cailyn Long paced the RiverHawks with 16 points and now sits on 970 points in her career. Senior Bailee Eldred had 12 points with a team-high nine rebounds, while sophomore Cenia Hayes and senior Joi Bertrand both had eight points. Bertrand also matched her career- high with four blocks and now has 20 for the season through seven games.

“Individually, it feels great that all my hard work over the years is paying off and that I can go out on game nights have good games and be successful,” said Cailyn Long, senior forward. “I absolutely could not do any of this without my teammates, and I know that their successes make it easier for me to be successful as well.”

NSU shot 45.2 percent through three quarters before finishing the game 2-for-14 from the field. From long range, they went 6-for-18 with five made three-pointers in the third quarter. The Lions were 47.5 percent on their side of the floor with senior Ellie Lehne having a team-high 15 points off the bench.

“We started the game well but never really capitalized and extended a lead,” Bailee Eldred,

senior guard. “We need to work on the second half of the game, coming out with the same

energy, focus, and execution that we do at the beginning of the game. We need to work on

transition defense and consistently getting stops on the defensive end. We cannot keep letting

teams go on big runs.”

NSU women’s basketball is practicing almost every day besides game day. With most games falling on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the team does not have a lot of time between games. To utilize their time as efficiently as possible, they usually have a film and recovery day following the first game of the week and then an off day following the second game.

“Our expectation is that we learn from early losses and show up every day to compete and

better ourselves,” said Messer. “We want to be a competitive team within the MIAA and put

ourselves in a position to go to Kansas City for the conference tournament in March.”

Tuesday’s game was the fifth straight game the RiverHawks played away from the NSU Event Center this season.

“My expectation for this year would be get to the conference tournament and just make sure

that every time we step on the floor we put forth our best effort,” said Long. “We have what it takes to be successful, we just have to execute.”

The RiverHawks remain on the road until the end of December but will play their first conference game at 5:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 5 at Pittsburg State.

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