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Middle-quarter drought does in Lady Pirates

OTTAWA — A 13-minute stretch Tuesday night did in the Ottawa Lady Pirates.

Over the final five minutes of the second stanza and throughout the third period, the Lady Pirates were outscored 21-7 by the Geneseo Lady Leafs.
That spurt by Geneseo/drought by Ottawa propelled the former to a key 53-43 Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference West Division win at Kingman Gym. The outcome gives the Lady Leafs a one-game edge atop the division standings at 4-2 above the Lady Pirates' 3-2.
Ottawa (11-5 overall) tallied the initial five points of the contest and led 9-4 late in the opening quarter. The score was tied 11-11 after one, and the two teams proceeded to trade baskets early in the second — exchanging leads on four straight possessions — with the Lady Pirates ahead 17-16 at the five-minute mark.
Following a timeout by Geneseo, the Lady Leafs' Hannah Himmelman scored after a rebound on her own miss. That basket with 4 minutes, 25 seconds remaining gave Geneseo (9-7) the lead for good, ignited a 14-5 run to close the half and gave it a 30-22 advantage at the break.
"I think we settled down on offense a little and started taking better shots (in the second quarter)," said coach Scott Hardison of his Lady Leafs, who shot 50 percent from the field in the first half (13 of 26). "I think we were forcing it a little there up to that point. But once we got the shots we wanted and they started to fall a little bit, that's where we kind of made the separation in the second quarter."
"We turned the basketball over; their pressure got to us a little bit," said coach Brent Moore, whose Lady Pirates committed eight turnovers during the initial 16 minutes of action. "We talked about them speeding us up with their press and that leading to bad shots for us and letting them get out in transition, and that's where they kind of stretched the lead a little going into the half.
"But, I mean, still it was (only) eight at halftime, we're on our home floor, it's anybody's game."
However, Ottawa could muster just a lone bucket — a Sloan Gayan layup with 25 seconds left — and misfired on nine of its 10 shot attempts in the third period. And while Geneseo put only seven points on the board during the same span, it extended its margin up to 13 points (37-24) through three.
"You know, we talk about the importance of the first three minutes of the second half," Moore said, "and we come out and score two points in the third quarter."
"The two middle quarters, we played really well." Hardison said.
Despite falling behind 17 points early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Pirates continued to plug away — spurred by Angelique Cowan's 10 points — cutting their deficit down to nine points on a few occasions and ultimately outscoring their visitors 19-16.
"I credit our girls; they fought (in the fourth quarter)," Moore said. "We beat (Geneseo) the fourth quarter
"I mean, our effort was there (throughout). It was just a matter of finishing some shots."
Heather Dietrich scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Geneseo. Six other Lady Leafs tallied between six and eight points, including Himmelman (six rebounds) and freshman Maddi Barickman (two 3-pointers) with eight apiece.
Cowan finished with a game-high 18 points. Gayan posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Toni Froisland snared nine boards — including seven offensive — for Ottawa. Teegan Guerrero had six assists and three steals.
At Kingman Gym, Ottawa
Geneseo 53, Ottawa 43
GENESEO (53) — Dietrich 2-7 6-9 10, Brown 3-6 0-0 6, Frerichs 3-3 1-2 7, McAvoy 3-6 0-0 6, Himmelman 4-12 0-0 8, Raya 0-0 0-0 0, M. Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Webster 0-1 0-0 0, Thomas 0-2 0-1 0, Verbeck 4-6 0-0 8, M. Barickman 3-8 0-0 8, A. Barickman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-52 7-12 53.
OTTAWA (43) — Guerrero 2-13 0-0 4, Cowan 7-17 2-4 18, Harris 0-3 0-0 0, Gayan 5-7 2-2 12, Froisland 2-4 1-3 5, Stevenson 0-0 0-0 0, O'Fallon 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 18-48 5-9 43.
Geneseo (9-7, 4-2) 11 19 7 16 — 53
Ottawa (11-5, 3-2) 11 11 2 19 — 43
3-point goals — Geneseo 2-6 (M. Barickman 2-4, Thomas 0-2); Ottawa 2-13 (Cowan 2-7, O'Fallon 0-1, Harris 0-2, Guerrero 0-3). Rebounds — Geneseo 28 (Dietrich 8); Ottawa 34 (Gayan 11). Assists — Geneseo 9 (M. Barickman 3); Ottawa 7 (Guerrero 6). Steals — Geneseo 9 (three players with 2 each); Ottawa 7 (Guerrero 3). Blocked shots — Geneseo 1 (Himmelman 1); Ottawa 0. Turnovers — Geneseo 11; Ottawa 18. Total fouls (none fouled out) — Geneseo 11; Ottawa.10.

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