From NWOSU Sports Information
ALVA, Okla. – Clinging to a 43-40 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the second half, Lauren Fonteno hit two free throws to start a 10-2 run, and three minutes later Erika Baca nailed a three-pointer from the corner to cap it, as Northwestern Oklahoma State routed the University of Arkansas-Monticello 63-46 Saturday afternoon, it was Northwestern’s second Great American Conference victory in three days.
“This makes us 2-0 in conference play and that’s the most important thing,” Northwestern coach Eric Bozeman said. “All we did was hold serve, the way to win the conference championship is to win all the games at home and split on the road. I don’t care about our provisional status; I want to have the most wins in the conference at the end of the year.”
Monticello (2-4, 0-2 GAC) jumped out to an early first-half lead, and led 20-11 with six minutes remaining in the first half.
However, the Rangers fought back and a Dierra Gilmore jumper with two minutes remaining put the Rangers in front 23-22. Northwestern entered halftime with a 29-23 lead.
Monticello and Northwestern traded blows early in the second half and Jordan Goforth nailed a jumper to cut the Rangers’ lead to 43-40 before Northwestern went on the 10-2 run.
“This was a physical game, from the opening whistle and until the clock hit zero,” Bozeman said. “We did a great job of keeping our composure. We played smart and didn’t commit any dumb or unnecessary fouls.”
Goforth scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Monticello.
Renee Golliday scored a team-high 11 points and hauled in nine rebounds for the Rangers. Northwestern did a great job of spreading the wealth, with 11 players scoring.
Baca and Fonteno helped out with nine points apiece, Titania Simmons chipped in eight points, while Macy Gibson and Dierra Gilmore scored six points apiece for the Rangers.
“I told them after the game it was a great team effort and I was proud of them,” Bozeman said. “We win as a team and we will lose as a team. I feel that we are getting better after each practice and each game.”
Northwestern (3-4, 2-0 GAC) has a week off before hosting former Sooner Athletic Conference rival Rogers State University Saturday at 6 p.m.
“We have great fan support and we need to continue to pack the gym if we want to compete for a conference crown,” Bozeman said. “Believe me, I will tell you if are worth the price of admission, but right now I believe we are. If you haven’t had the chance to come out, we’d love the support.”
Bryan Holmgren is the Director of Athletic Communications at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.