Trailing by as many as 21 points in the first half, Northwest Missouri State's women's basketball team stormed back to beat NAIA No. 8 Rogers State 71-68 Saturday in Claremore, Okla.
The Bearcats used a 14-5 run at the end of the first half to pull within 12 points at the half. A 9-0 run in the second half brought them even closer, and the Bearcats took their first lead on a basket by Monique Stevens with 5:58 left.
A putback by Maggie Marnin with 16 seconds left gave Northwest its largest lead of three points, and Rogers State missed a tying three-point shot at the buzzer.
Northwest improved to 5-2 entering conference play and won for the first time by a single-digit margin.
The Bearcats held Rogers State to 23 second half points on 6-26 shooting and 1-7 from three after an unconscious first half in which Rogers State scored 45 points, made 16-22 (72.7) field goal attempts and 6-8 three's.
Northwest finished with a 14-4 advantage in second chance points, made three more 3-pointers and five more field goals.
Four Northwest players scored in double-figures led by junior guard Meridee Scott with 17 points. She was 5-8 from three, accounting for half the team's total of 10.
Ashleigh Nelson scored 14 points and made 4-6 three's. Stevens finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. Marnin added 10 points.
Rogers State's Ariani Silva matched Scott's game-high total with 17 points. Leah Smith (14 points), Clarissa Cannon (11 points) and Kelby Fritz (10 points) were also in double-figures.
The Hillcats (7-2) held as much as a 40-19 lead with under six minutes left in the first half.
Their halftime lead was 45-33.
Northwest returns to action Wednesday to open MIAA conference play against Lindenwood at 5:30 p.m. in Bearcat Arena.