SEDALIA, Mo. — After shooting a season-low 28.6 percent on Friday, the Three Rivers College women's basketball team bounced back to shoot a season-high 51.8 percent Saturday. A defensive-minded team, it was Three Rivers' first time shooting better than 50 percent from the field this season and it beat Missouri Valley JV 82-47. "The kids responded well," Three Rivers coach Jeff Walk said. Three Rivers (5-2), which lost 77-63 Friday to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, pressed from the outset and more than doubled Missouri Valley's scoring in the first half. The Raiders pressed throughout the first half and led 41-17 at the break. The pulled out of the press midway through the third quarter and didn't press at all in the fourth. They finished with 17 steals, forced 27 turnovers and got 36 points off turnovers. Four players finished in double figures for Three Rivers. Hailee Erickson sank five 3s and had a team-high 17 points.
Markeia Porter came off the bench and added 16 points and four assists on 7 for 10 shooting. "Markeia had her best game so far this year," said Walk, who added that Porter was able to get in the post and get shots from good positions. Casey Douglas shot 50 percent from the field for 12 points off the bench and starting forward Sydni Williams had 10 points and seven rebounds. Missouri Valley's starting five went a combined 5 for 27 (18.5 percent). Two Vikings shot 50 percent or better. One of them, Dalia Cantu, came off the bench and led the team with 12 points. Three Rivers, meanwhile, had six players shoot 50 percent or better and the starters were 14 for 33 (42.4) while Three Rivers' bench scored 40 points. On Friday, the Raiders couldn't break into the Northeastern bench quite enough to overcome the starters as the Lady Norse pulled away late.
Northeastern (5-1), ranked 17th in the NJCAA preseason poll and Three Rivers' second ranked opponent in a row, had just two points off the bench and played eight players in a starter focused lineup. Four of those starters played at least 29 minutes and Eneritz Larranaga, who had 11 points and nine rebounds, was out of the game for less than 90 seconds. Three Rivers, meanwhile, had 26 points off the bench, including Alex Kohler's 14 to lead the team in scoring. Williams and Lakeita Chappel both finished with 12. Three Rivers shot 14 percent worse from the field than Northeastern, but was very much in the game at the start of the third quarter. With Three Rivers down by two at halftime, neither team scored for the first 4 minutes of the second half. Northeastern eventually broke the deadlock with a bucket a the 6 minute mark on a fluke play. Three Rivers got a steal and sent the Lady Norse player who gave up the turnover to the ground for about 10 seconds. The Raiders sped down the court but missed the layup right as the Lady Norse player who committed the turnover got up. Northeastern grabbed the rebound and threw a fullcourt pass to her for an easy bucket. Walk said it was just enough of a boost to give one tired team an advantage over the other. Northeastern led by as much as 15 in the final minutes. "It was a good defensive battle, they just shot the ball a little better than we did," Walk said. "If we could have been the first one to score in the third quarter, I think that game could have changed. Both teams expelled so much energy that whoever scored was going to get a boost."
Scott Borkgren-Daily American Republic