Sacred Heart 66, Detroit Mercy 60
Sacred Heart (3-3) kept Detroit Mercy (0-7) at bay for a 68-60 victory in the game that tipped off the 2019 South Point Shootout in Las Vegas. The Pioneers started out in dominating fashion on a 12-2 run before the first media timeout. When Detroit Mercy returned to the court, they managed to get within five but could not find the rhythm to tie the game. Sacred Heart ended the quarter with a 19-9 lead.
Detroit fared better in the second quarter, outscoring the Pioneers 18-15 but that three-point margin effort in the second 10 minutes was not good enough for the Titans to go into the break with a lead.
Sacred Heart had eight different players scoring in the first half. That balanced effort helped the Pioneers earn a 34-27 lead.
For the remainder of the game, Detroit Mercy had mini spurts of offensive production but Sacred Heart never failed to respond quickly and halt the Titans’ effort.
Adrianne Hagood led SHU with 21 points. Nikki Johnson added 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
Detroit Mercy had three players in double figures: Annika Corcoran (19 points, 4 rebounds), Brigid Fox off the bench for 12 points and seven rebounds; and Sylare Starks (10 points, four rebounds).
Key stats: Sacred Heart was 45.5% from three-point land off of 22 attempts while Detroit Mercy only shot 9 treys and made just three for 33.3%. SHU also scored 13 fastbreak points compared to just three by the Titans.
Northern Illinois 82, Tennessee Tech 74
NIU (3-3) and TTU (3-3) came out of the gate ready for battle as the teams fought tooth and nail for the majority of the contest to gain an advantage. From the outset, it was a back-and-forth affair with neither team able to gain a significant lead.
It was a grind for Northern Illinois to top Tennessee Tech 82-74, but the Huskies can take solace in their grittiness down the stretch to pull out a victory.
The first quarter was an exciting ten minutes with both teams shooting fairly well from the floor. At the end of the first quarter, the game was tied at 21 all.
In the second quarter, the offensive production of both squads diminished to nearly half and they were still neck and neck, earning 13 points each. The game was tied at the half 34 all with Tennessee Tech’s Kesha Brady leading all scorers with 12.
The third quarter was much of the same back and forth. However, Northern Illinois had a breakout performance in the fourth quarter outscoring TTU 20-11 with Courtney Woods and Gabby Nikitinaite providing most of the points.
Key stats: Northern Illinois earned 34 points in the paint compared to 28 by TTU. The Huskies also outpaced the Golden Eagles in fastbreak points 16 to 11. Overall Northern Illinois shot 44.6% (29-65) from the floor compared to 34.2% (26-76) by Tennessee Tech.
South Dakota 68, Ohio State 53
South Dakota’s reputation as a dangerous mid-major team that Power Five programs avoid is well deserved. The Coyotes played a disciplined and hard-nosed game to top the Big Ten’s Ohio State 68-53.
South Dakota (6-1) got off to a hot start, earning an 8-2 lead before Ohio State (3-3) began to retaliate. With three-point shots from Jacy Sheldon and Kierstan Bell, the Buckeyes tied the game up in the middle of the quarter. The rest of the period, the teams exchanged baskets with Ohio State holding a slight 16-15 lead to heading into the second ten minutes.
South Dakota had the upper hand for the second quarter, outscoring the Buckeyes 21-12.
Ciara Duffy did most of the scoring for the Coyotes in the second period. At the half, she had 12 points along with 8 rebounds and three assists.
South Dakota owned the second half, outscoring Ohio State 32-25over the last two quarters.
Duffy led all scorers with an impressive 22 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists. Chloe Lamb was also in double figures with 13 points plus four rebounds and Monica Arens chipped in 11 points plus four rebounds.
Key stats: South Dakota had 26 points in the paint compared to 20 by Ohio State. The Coyotes also outrebounded the Buckeyes 33-24. Overall, South Dakota shot 48% (24-50) from the floor compared to 34% (18-53) by Ohio State.
Nebraska 67, USC 54
In a Big Ten vs. Pac-12 matchup Friday evening, Nebraska (6-1) came out on top 67-54 against Southern California (3-3). The game had 12 lead changes and five ties. However, Nebraska finished strong to put the USC Trojans in the dust.
Nebraska trailed by two points after one quarter when USC led 22-20. The Huskers came alive on both ends floor in the second period scoring 19 points and limiting the Trojans to just 9.
At the break, Nebraska led 39-31. Huskers senior guard/forward Nicea Eliely was the only player in double digits at the half with 10.
USC mounted a third-quarter comeback outscoring Nebraska 21-13. There were three ties in the period with the last standoff capping the period. Heading into the last ten minutes the teams were tied at 52.
But, that last quarter offensive blast from Nebraska, outscoring USC 15-2, put the Trojans on ice.
Sophomore guard/forward Leigha Brown led Nebraska with 16 points. Eliely finished with 12 points and junior center Kate Cain added 10 plus five rebounds.
USC had only one player in double figures, freshman center Angel Jackson who scored 13 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
Key stats: Nebraska earned 36 points in the paint compared to 26 by USC. The Huskers also outpaced USC in fastbreak points, 12-4, and bench points, 33-20. Overall, Nebraska shot 46.0% (29-63) from the floor compared to 32.8% (22-67) by USC.
Alabama 87, Northern Iowa 77
The last game of the evening was another highly anticipated matchup between a mid-major and a Power Five program. Northern Iowa (5-1) came into the game undefeated but fell to the SEC's Alabama 87-77.
UNI gave the Tide a good matchup as the game saw nine lead changes and nine ties. In fact, Northern Iowa led for nearly all of the first quarter and went into the second period with a 21-16 lead. Grad student guard Kristina Cavey had seven points to lead the Panthers in the first ten minutes.
Alabama (5-1) blasted UNI in the second quarter outscoring their opponent 17-8 which gave the Tide a 33-29 halftime lead. Senior guard Cierra Johnson led all scorers with 14 points at the half. Jordan Lewis and Jasmine Walker picked up where Johnson left off for Alabama in the last two quarters.
Alabama continued to outscore the Panthers in the third quarter 26-14. UNI picked up the pace in the last period putting up 20 points compared to 15 by the Tide but it was not enough.
Lewis finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Johnson added 18 plus six assists and Walker added 17 plus nine rebounds.
UNI had five players in double digits led Nicole Kroeger (14 points). Megan Maahs, Karli Rucker, and Cavey added 12 points each. Kam Finley contributed 11 points.
Key stats: Alabama scored 40 points in the paint compared to 22 by UNI. The Tide shot 53.4% (31-58) from the floor compared to 43.6% (24-55) by UNI.
Day 2 Schedule (all times PST)
Saturday, November 30th
11:00 a.m. - Detroit Mercy vs. Tennessee Tech
1:15 p.m. - NIU vs. South Dakota
3:30 p.m. - Nebraska vs. Sacred Heart
5:45 p.m. - Ohio State vs Northern Iowa
8:00 p.m. - Alabama vs USC