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NWC women drop three to ranked opponents

Northwest’s women’s basketball team will look to rebound after failing to do so in three losses at the College of Southern Idaho tournament over the weekend.

The Trappers suffered three road losses to No. 5 College of Southern Idaho, No. 2 Central Arizona and No. 18 Midland College Thursday through Friday.

The women lost the battle of the boards by at least 17 in each game, and were out-rebounded 157-102 during the three-game stretch.

“That’s kind of been a struggle for us throughout the year,” said head coach Janis Beal. “That’s something we’re really focusing on in practice this week.”

Northwest was without perhaps its best rebounder, Imari Simpson, for the majority of the tournament.

Simpson suffered a knee injury early in Thursday’s game and was out for the remainder of the tourney. Beal said she is expected to play this weekend.

While Simpson is a player the Trappers can’t afford to do without for an extended period of time, her absence allowed other players to play bigger roles.

“It gave some kids more opportunity, which later on in the season could come to help us,” Beal said.

The Trappers lost to College of Southern Idaho 99-57 Thursday.

Sophomore Leanne Winterholler was the team’s top scorer with 14 points. She also had two rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Simpson’s injury created an opportunity in the post for Sarah Nielsen, who scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in 23 minutes. Sierra Williams added 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 20 minutes.

Northwest didn’t do itself any favors from the foul line, where it shot 12-for-30 as a team.

Friday’s 90-60 loss to Central Arizona has silver linings in the forms of Mandee Christensen and Hattilyn Snyder.

Christensen, a freshman back-up point guard, led Northwest with 16 points. She was 4-for-8 from the field and 7-for-16 from the free throw line.

“She did a great job,” Beal said. “I think she learned a lot and improved a lot from our weekend in Salt Lake.”

Snyder scored just five points but came away with 14 boards.

“She has good size and knows where to be,” Beal said. Snyder used her height advantage to grab rebounds but could also use it to be more of an offensive threat, the coach said.

Central Arizona took 27 more shots than Northwest.

During the tourney, Trapper opponents had 62 more field goal attempts.

“We didn’t give ourselves extra chances as far as offensive rebounds,” Beal said.

The chances the Trappers were taking weren’t going in. Northwest shot just 27 percent from the floor against Central Arizona.

“We got some good looks that just didn’t fall,” Beal said. “We didn’t hit many outside shots.”

Northwest was 4-for-25 on 3-point attempts.

Three Trappers scored at least 13 points Saturday but it wasn’t enough as Midland College won 97-66.

Freshman Dana Bjorhus missed the Southern Idaho and Central Arizona games due to headaches, but returned against Midland to score 19 points.

Bjorhus was 5-for-6 from the floor and 7-of-7 from the line. She also had three rebounds and a steal.

Sophomore point guard Andressa Augusto had her best game of the weekend against Midland. Augusto finished with 10 points, five assists and three rebounds.

Christensen scored 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting. She also turned the ball over nine times.

Snyder led Northwest with nine rebounds. She only scored two points but contributed three assists, two steals and a block.

The Trapper women will stay in town for two home games this weekend.

Northwest welcomes Gillette College, Colorado Northwestern and the University of Great Falls JV for the Big Horn Federal Shootout. The Trappers will play Great Falls at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Colorado Northwestern at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

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