Friday, December 17, 2010

Cannon’s Career Night Leads Newman Past Southwestern, 82-65

WICHITA - A hot start and a career night from Tasha Cannon fueled the Newman women's basketball team to an 82-65 win over Southwestern Friday evening inside Fugate Gymnasium. Cannon finished with a career-high 23 points and 17 rebounds, and was one of three Jets to post career numbers in the win.

Newman (8-4) scored on each of its first three possessions, and held Southwestern (8-4) without a field goal for nearly five minutes of Friday's game. A Tasha Cannon jumper at the 15:36 mark of the opening half gave Newman a 12-1 lead, before Kaitlin Tennyson's three-pointer gave Southwestern its first field goal of the game. The Jets answered with a 13-2 run, capped by a Celeste Key lay-up that pushed Newman's lead to a 19-piont, 25-6 margin with 10:04 still to play. Just over 30 seconds later, a Philicia Kelly trey gave Newman its first 20-point lead of the night, 28-8, with 9:29 to play, but Southwestern slowly put together a comeback bid. A pair of Zefiryn Bryan free throws capped six point spurt by the visiting Moundbuilders, who narrowed the Newman margin to 11, 32-21, after a pair of Brett Bates free throws with 5:37 still to play. The Moundbuilders were within nine points of Newman on two occasions in the final 90 seconds of the first half, but back-to-back Cannon free throws with 14 seconds remaining pushed Newman's lead to 43-32 at halftime.

Southwestern opened the second half with a trey from Jasmine Manuel, and pulled to within eight points, 43-35, after their first possession of the second half, but a Rhea Codio lay-up on the ensuing possession sparked a 6-2 Newman run that pushed the Jets lead back to 14, 49-35, just under two minutes into the second half. The Moundbuilders pulled back to within nine two minutes later after a Manuel free throw, and were as close to eight points after a Kristy Herman jumper at the 13:37 mark narrowed the Newman lead to 53-45, but a 7-2 mini-run by Newman, capped by a Nikita Norwood lay-up, ultimately sealed Southwestern's fate. Newman never led by less than 11 points the rest of the way, and led by as many as 20 after a Codio jumper gave the Jets a 70-50 lead with 7:30 still to play. From there, the Jets cruised to the 82-65 win.

Tasha Cannon led Newman with a 23 points and 17 rebounds, both of which set new career marks for the junior forward. Philicia Kelly was next in line with 22 points, while Rhea Codio added 13 points and a career-high seven rebounds. Celeste Key played just 21 minutes on Friday's game, but managed a career-high five assists and a career-high three steals in the win.

Zefiryn Bryan scored 18 points to lead Southwestern, who remains at 8-4 after declaring Friday's game an exhibition prior to the start of the season.

With the win, the Jets improve to 8-4 on the season. After enjoying an NCAA Div. II-mandated week-long holiday break, Newman will return to action Thursday, Dec. 30 with a trip to St. Joseph, Mo., to take on the Missouri Western Griffons in a 7 p.m. contest.

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