North Central Scores McCloskey-Bax First Career Win

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

Nov. 10, 2018 – Beginning a new chapter in the North Central College women's basketball history, the Cardinals opened the 2018-19 season on a high note, scoring Maggie McCloskey-Baxher first career victory in a 62-54 win over Knox College on Saturday in front on a tenacious crowd inside Gregory Arena.

In a tightly contested battle, the Prairie Fire (0-1) held their largest lead of the contest 34-24 with 7:04 to play in the third, but a quick 9-0 run, highlighted by a three-pointer from Lyndsay Brennan and a pair of lay-ins from Alanna Newsome pulled the Cardinals to within one. 

Knox held a slight 38-37 lead heading into the fourth quarter in a contest featuring four lead changes and six ties, but it was the Cardinals who took the lead for the final time as Maya Walls scored from down low to begin the final quarter to regain the lead.

The basket from Walls sparked the pivotal run of the contest, as Allison Pearson and Newsome knocked down clutch, back-to-back three-pointers to open up a 45-38 lead in favor of North Central. 

Knox drew to within four points of the lead on a couple occasions but the Cardinal defense held the Prairie Fire in check in the second half, knocking down four of five free throws down the stretch to seal the season opening victory.

Knox made its first three-point attempt of the contest early in the first quarter then proceeded to miss its next 11 attempts, shooting just eight percent on the evening.  North Central meanwhile struggled in the first half, shooting just 2-for-15, including a 0-for-8 stretch in the second quarter, but found their stroke in the second half going 5-for-12 in what proved to be the difference in the contest.

North Central (1-0) shot just 30% from the field on the night, but were carried by a 21-3 advantage from three-point range, as Newsome led the Cardinal offense with 17 points.  Tyonne Howard added eight points, seven assists, five rebounds, three steals and a block, as the freshman point guard applied contest pressure on both sides of the ball all evening.  Pearson also finished with eight points, while Walls and Haydn Braun each added seven.

Jarrelyn McCall paced the Knox offense with 17 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field, while Morgan Potter finished with 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

North Central now hits the road for three-straight games, making the quick trip down the street to Benedictine University on Tuesday, Nov. 20 with tip-off at 5 p.m. inside the Rice Center.