Two games into Mark Kellogg's Northwest Missouri State tenure, the Bearcats have already accomplished a feat they did only once all of last year—a two-game win streak.
Following an opening night win over Quincy, Northwest Missouri State blasted struggling NAIA opponent Tabor 93-50 Tuesday night at Bearcat Arena.
Northwest never trailed in the game and stretched an 18-point halftime lead to as many as 48 in the second half.
The 43-point margin of victory was Northwest's largest since a 68 point win over Chaminade in 2007-2008.
At 2-0, the Bearcats are one-third of the way to last year's six win total with 24 games still to play.
"Coming off last year and starting off on a strong note like we are, it's definitely a good feeling going to the locker room after the game," said sophomore Annie Mathews who shared the team lead in scoring with 14 points. "It definitely has us all with a new kind of perspective going into this season starting out that strong."
Offensively, the Bearcats much better than the game before, scoring 28 more points on 54.7 percent shooting.
The Bearcats inside tandem of Mathews and 6-3 sophomore Maggie Marnin flourished in the first half with a combined 25 points on 12-16 shooting against Tabor's bit-sized front line.
In the second half, the Bearcats caught fire from the outside and knocked down 9-12 three's to finish 10-19.
"First half we really pounded it in the post and so that kind drew of the defense in," said Mathews. "I think the guards kind of realized if they pounded the post, they'd get their open shots and knock them down and we executed pretty well."
Northwest had four players in double-figures and six with eight points or more.
Mathews and sophomore reserve guard Ashleigh Nelson led the way with 14 points. Marnin and senior guard Ashley Thayer each contributed 13 points.
The Bearcats also got nine points from freshman Tember Schechinger, eight from Victoria Naylor and eight from Meridee Scott.
At the defensive end, the Bearcats held a second straight opponent to 50 points and less than 40 percent shooting.
Tabor made only 32.8 percent of its shots and turned it over 25 times.
That gives Northwest 45 forced turnovers in the first two games.
"We found out they were playing without their starting point guard and we knew it was rev it up and let's go and see if we can't create some havoc," said Kellogg.
A turnover spree helped Northwest assert its dominance in the game more than 10 minutes in.
The Bearcats converted four straight Blue Jay turnovers into nine transition points to take a 30-15 lead with 8:36 left in the first half.
Page 2 of 2 - Northwest's lead never dipped below 12 the rest of the way.
"I told them that's the first time all year I've seen that defense look like what I'm trying to get them to think what it looks like," said Kellogg. "Create havoc, get some turnovers and turn those into points and do it again and then they call timeout and we feel pretty good and the game was probably over at that point to be completely honest.
Northwest got up as many as 23 in the first half and carried a 47-29 lead to the break.
The Bearcats plodded along in the second half until three Thayer three-balls and one from Nelson helped fuel a 16-0 run that expanded the lead to 37 points. Non-rotation reserves Denise McEnaney and Rackell Goldson combined to hit three more three's in the final five minutes.
Tabor's only double-figure scorer in the game was Kayla Wilgers with 12 points.
The Bearcats take on Southwest Minnesota State and William Jewell over the weekend as part of the Winstead-Reeves Classic at Bearcat Arena.