Senior Marley Anderson takes the ball to the opposing side at the UCO vs Nebraska Kearney game at the Hamilton Field House on February 16, 2017.
Fueled by a 7-0 run to start the second half, the UCO Bronchos beat Northwest Missouri State in the opening round of the MIAA Tournament 67-50.
Junior guard Melinda Murillo led a balanced attack with 17 points, while senior guard Marley Anderson contributed 15 points.
“Marley’s really creative,” UCO head coach Guy Hardaker said. “I don’t know how she does it. She can get to the basket and get fouls.”
The first quarter was tough for both offenses as Northwest Missouri State shot 33 percent from the field and the Bronchos were even worse, with 28.6 percent from the field. UCO’s offense picked up in the second quarter, hitting 53 percent of their shots.
In the third quarter, the Bronchos began to get ahead of the Bearcats, finishing the quarter up 50-32.
“We started ball screening in the second half,” Hardaker said. “We got easy looks.”
UCO’s defense held Northwest Missouri State to just 7 points in the third quarter and contained the MIAA’s leading scorer Tanya Meyer to just 12 points, who has averaged 20 points per game this season.
“We put a bigger guard defending the point,” Hardaker said.
Northwest Missouri State shot 34 percent from the field and 15 percent from three-point range in the game.
The UCO “bigs” played a major role offensively, with Jesheon Cooper and Olivia Mason combining for 29 points.
UCO looks to continue their strong play as they take on Missouri Western in Kansas City, Missouri Friday at 8:30 p.m.