Saturday, December 11, 2010

Peru State Stuns Newman Women, 69-66

PERU, Neb. - The Newman women's basketball team dropped its second-straight game, coming up on the short end of a 69-66 decision to the Peru State Bobcats Saturday afternoon in snowy Peru, Neb. Philicia Kelly led all scorers with 24 points in the loss.

Peru State (6-4), an NAIA program, proved it was not intimidated by Newman's NCAA Div. II status. The Bobcats jumped out to an early 7-3 lead after a Monique McDuffie jumper at the 17:49 mark. Newman (6-4) responded with a 6-2 spurt, capped by a Philicia Kelly jumper that tied the game at 9-9 with 15:39 to play. Peru State answered with four-straight points to take a 13-9 lead, and forced Newman head coach Jaime Green to burn her first timeout of the contest.

Green's timeout advice sparked an 11-2 run, capped by a Sam Soyez steal which resulted in a Celeste Key lay-up that gave Newman a five-point, 20-15 lead at the 9:22 mark. The Jets pushed their lead to seven, 26-19, after Nikita Norwood's steal ended up in the hands of Kelly, who converted it into two points, but Peru State needed less than three minutes to tie things up after Jasmine Tate's bucket tied the game at 30-30 with just over four minutes remaining in the opening period. The two teams exchanged buckets throughout the remainder of the half, which ended with the Bobcats holding a narrow 37-36 advantage.

The see-saw battle continued into the second half. Alex Adekunle's lay-up gave Newman a 45-43 lead at the 17:07 mark, but Nyahok Duop forced the seventh tie of the game, and sparked an 8-1 Bobcat rally that saw the hosts take a five-point, 51-46 lead after an Avyn Vaden jumper at the 14:48 mark. Peru State extended that lead to nine, when another Duop jumper gave the Bobcats a 59-50 edge, but again Newman was up to the challenge. An Adekunle lay-up on the following possession sparked a 10-2 Newman run, capped by a Tasha Cannon free throw to pull the Jets to within one, 61-60, with 5:27 to play. That was as close as Newman could get until the final minute, when a Kelly lay-up tied the game at 66-66 with 46 seconds remaining, but Duop's old-fashion three-point play on the following possession proved to be the difference in the contest, and gave Peru State the 69-66 upset win.

Philicia Kelly's 8-for-10 performance from the floor, combined with her 8-for-9 outing at the charity stripe allowed her to lead all scorers in Saturday's game. Kelly finished with 24 points and added five rebounds in Newman's losing effort. Tasha Cannon added 19 points, while Rhea Codio and Alex Adekunle finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Cannon added 13 rebounds to finish with a 19-point, 13-rebound double-double, while Adekunle added 10 boards to her 10 points for a double-double of her own.

Nyahok Duop led the Bobcats with 21 points.

With the loss, the Jets fall to 6-4 on the season. They will return home Tuesday to host the Ottawa Braves. Tip-time is slated for 5:30 p.m. inside Newman's Fugate Gymnasium.

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