MOSES LAKE — The Big Bend women stormed out of the timeout with just under three minutes left in Wednesday's Northwest Athletic Conference game like an army of five with its marching orders.
They had some swag and the weren't backing down against a program that won a NJCAA national championship six years ago. Emily Allan hit a runner across lane and Sunnie Martinez made it a three-point game with 1:07 remaining. But North Idaho College (12-10, 5-6 NWAC) made 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to ensure the victory in former Big Bend head coach Chris Carlson's (1993-2000) return to DeVries Activity Center 67-60.
Big Bend sophomore Reinee Rockett of Almira/Coulee-Hartline drained a 3-point shot from the wing to make it 62-58 with 29.1 seconds and later made 2-of-3 from the free-throw line after getting fouled in the act of shooting a 3-pointer to cut the Cardinals lead to 64-60. But that's as close as the Vikings (11-14, 3-9 NWAC) would get.
“There comes a time when you have to say we're so sick of losing and we need to prove ourselves,” said Big Bend sophomore Maryah Tipping, who finished with a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. “When we played them at their place, they just kept going and going. I don't think they expected us to stand up for ourselves. I'm really happy with the way we finished. We played with that fire we had in the beginning of the year.”
The Vikings out-rebounded the Cardinals 57-46. Emily Allan had a team-high 13 and Hailey Garrity added 10. Combined, Allan and Garrity had 14 rebounds on the defensive glass and the Vikings defense held the Cardinals, who are in their first year in the NWAC after dropping down from the NJCAA, to just two field goals through the first four minutes of the final quarter.
Big Bend turned it up on the offensive glass as well, out-rebounding North Idaho 23-19 on offense. Despite scoring 48 points in the final three quarters, it was that initial period that put Big Bend in the hole they just couldn't dig their way out.
NIC raced to a 29-12 lead in the first quarter. North Idaho guard Whitney Meier scored 20 of the Cardinals' 38 points in the first half.
“The game was basically decided in the first quarter. We won every quarter after that, but they got us by 17 in the first quarter,” Big Bend coach Preston Wilks said. “The girls really wanted this tonight. We talked about leaving it on the court at halftime. No matter what the score, let's go out and leave it all on the court and I thought they did that in the second half.”
Big Bend trailed by 15 at the intermission, but took it to another level with a 9-2 run to cut the lead to 55-42 with 7:06 remaining. North Idaho scored just its second field goal of the fourth period on a six-foot jumper by Cierra Dvorak.
The Vikings made it a five-point game, then cut it to three, but had to foul down the stretch and the Cardinals, who were 16-of-24 from the line, made just enough to get out of town with the win.
Allan had nine points and 13 rebounds. Rockett finished with a team-high 14 coming off the bench and Tipping had the double-double. Big Bend travels to Pasco to play Columbia Basin College on Saturday.
Score by quarters
North Idaho - Cierra Dvorak 11, Kassin Hopkins 4, Whitney Meier 21, Shaya Allert 2, Kaitlyn Christianson 3, Giavanna Sorn 8, Charity Marlatt 18.
- Field goals: 23.
- 3-point goals: 5.
- Free throws: 16-24.
- Score: 67
Big Bend - Sunnie Martinez 5, Hailey Garrity 6, Emily Allan 9, Callie Gronning 9, Reinee Rockett 14, Maryah Tipping 12, Madison Wilcox 5.
- Field goals: 21.
- 3-point goals: 3.
- Free throws: 15-24.
- Score: 60
Men's college basketball
North Idaho 101, Big Bend 82
MOSES LAKE — Big Bend men's basketball fell to 8-4 in the NWAC East after a loss to North Idaho Wednesday 101-82.
The Cardinals pulled away in the second half after leading 50-46 at recess.
Josh Erickson and Leo Behrend kept the Runnin' Vikes close in the first half with 25 combined points.
Big Bend travels to Columbia Basin College on Saturday.