By Taylor Morris
The Northwestern Rangers came home with a big win overcoming the University of Southern Arkansas’s Muleriders by a score of 71-64.
There were several great performances from the Rangers fueling their first conference win of the season, after going winless in the GAC last season.
Ashley Pride proved to be a crutch for the team with 20 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists.
A real breakout performance came from redshirt sophomore, Deja Beechum, who was all over the court with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.
Another reliable source of offense, especially from deep was Kori Barrios. She had 12 of her 16 total points from three-point land and also accumulated four rebounds and three assists.
The Rangers came out gunning in the first quarter racking up a total of five three-pointers. They started off really hot sinking four three-pointers within the first couple minutes, before going on a little scoring drought. That was until Kalea King hit their fifth three-pointer toward the end of the quarter.
Both teams started the second quarter off hot, each knocking down buckets. Following, the Rangers went on a 7-0 run sparked by a quick jump shot by Jonae Isaac followed by two quick baskets from Ashley Pride. Northwestern really started to pull away in the second quarter racking up three-pointers from Deja Beechum and Kori Barrios boosting the score to 43-26 to end the half.
The second half started off pretty evenly with the Rangers going on a 5-4 run early in the third quarter. Beechum answered a three point ball from the Muleriders by scoring on back to back possessions. The Muleriders followed up and ended the half going on a 5-0 scoring run bringing them within 10 points behind at 53-43 after the third quarter.
The Lady Rangers didn’t have an answer for the Muleriders offense early fourth quarter due to the 7-1 scoring run causing the Muleriders to trail by only four. Despite the valiant effort from the Muleriders, two huge three-pointers finished them off which caused the Percefull Fieldhouse to explode in uproar. The first came from Ashli Robinson, and the second came late in the fourth quarter to seal the game from Oklahoma native, Kori Barrios.
After hitting a sequence of free throw shots late fourth quarter, the Lady Rangers managed to hold on and score their first conference win.
Northwestern hosts Arkansas-Monticello on Saturday.