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January 08, 2013 8:36 am

Trapper women cruise past Rams

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Northwest improves to 3-1 in Region IX North

The Northwest College women’s basketball team returned to Region IX North action on Saturday with a well-rounded 90-74 win over Little Big Horn College at Hank Cabre Gymnasium. The win improves the Trappers to 3-1 in regional play and 10-8 overall.

“Top to bottom, Region IX is a lot closer than it has been in a long time,” said NWC women’s coach  Janis Beal. “Being able to pick up wins like this is important. Every game out is going to count from here forward, so it was nice to be able to get this win.”

Northwest College led wire-to-wire in the game. The Trapper women used early rebounding dominance on the offensive and defensive glass to take early control of the game. From there, a first half that saw the Trappers blister the nets for 7-for-17 shooting from behind the 3-point arc helped the team push out to a 20-point lead with just under five minutes remaining in the first half.

The Trappers’ lead was 54-32 at intermission as the team’s hot shooting and two-to-one edge in the rebounding department helped produce a hefty number of points. Northwest’s shooting chilled slightly in the second half, but the Trappers remained sharp defensively, preventing the visiting Rams from ever mounting a significant challenge to their lead.

Balanced scoring was the rule of the night for Northwest. Six Trapper players finished in double figures scoring, paced by Leslie Thronburg’s 18 points. Kennedy Allen added a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Leanne Winterholler stepped off the bench to knock down 16 points in just 14 minutes of floor time. Savannah Minder added 15 points and Andressa Augusto and Imari Simpson each had 10 points.

“It was a great team win,” said Beal. “We were actually talking about that on the bench during the second half, just looking up at the scoreboard and seeing that balance. Any time you have that many players contributing in a balanced fashion, you know everyone is doing what they should be.”

Even those not finding their way into the scoring column had a solid night for the Trappers. Leslie Blackburn, the only Trapper starter not to score in double figures, came up with seven rebounds and, more notable, three steals and three assists as a power forward. Megan Lund came off the bench for seven rebounds in just eight minutes of court time.

“Megan did a good job of coming off the bench for us, and Leanne had a really strong night coming out and knocking down some shots for us,” said Beal. “Leanne really gave us a spark.”

Winterholler finished 4-for-5 from long-range on the evening.

The Trappers return to action this Saturday. The team travels to Casper College to face what, traditionally, has been one of the top programs in Region IX North.

“Casper has a good mix of perimeter and interior players,” said Beal. “They can come at you either inside or out. I think we match up well against them, but we’re going to have to do a good job again of rebounding the basketball and we’re going to have to take care of the basketball, because they are going to come out and press us. We have to be able to handle that pressure.”

The Trappers’ next home game will be Jan. 16 against Miles Community College.

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