Sioux City Iowa — In a nail-biter, Northwestern pushed past St. Francis (Ill.) in overtime to reach the semifinals. The game that couldn’t be decided in regulation finished with the Red Raiders winning by a score of 89-83. Renee Maneman set a career mark of 1000 career points, while three other Red Raiders finished with double-doubles to secure the win.
The Saints took the first quarter by a score of 21-13. The Saints shot 60 percent and made three 3’s in route to an eight point lead. The Red Raiders struggled, shooting only 31 percent. Northwestern did lead the game in second chance points, outscoring the Saints 9-0, but St. Francis took a late run in the first to lead by eight.
But the Red Raiders would have a run of their own in the second. Down by 11 at one point, Northwestern went on an 8-0 run to pull it within three. And just a few minutes later, a Renee Maneman drive tied the game at 35 all. Renee Maneman was key is the Red Raiders turning the tides of the game. The senior dropped six points, as well as dished out four assists.
Out rebounding the Saints 11-4 in the second quarter, the Red Raiders scored 30 points and took an eight point lead going into half. They also shot 71 percent, going 10-14 in the quarter.
The third quarter belonged to the Saints. St. Francis recovered from the second quarter deficit to tie the game at exactly 57 heading into the final quarter. The Saints outscored the Red Raiders 22-14 behind a 53 percent shooting mark.
Both teams went back and forth in the first four minutes of the final quarter. With just under five minutes to go, the Saints had taken a one point lead, 64-63. But a pair of Maneman free throws regained the lead for the Raiders with just two minutes remaining. With a four-point lead, Kaitlin Aylward nailed a downtown bucket to shrink that lead to just one, 71-70 with 39 seconds left. A pair of Red Raider free throws gave them a brief 3-point lead, before Leah Sims pulled up from deep and nailed it with 28 seconds left to tie it all up at 73. But regulation was not enough to decide this quarterfinal matchup, as Renee Maneman’s midrange jumper was off the mark at the buzzer. The game headed to OT tied at 73.
A pair of Red Raider buckets, followed by an And-1 by the Saints gave Northwestern a one point lead early. A Haley Birks put-back increased it to three halfway through OT. Two Kassidy DeJong free throws on a foul by Kailtin Aylward, that put her out of the game with five, helped bring the lead to five for the Red Raiders. An Ivana Markovic layup, followed by one made free-throw from Maneman put the lead at just five with under 45 seconds to play. Maneman was fouled again, putting her back at the line. The senior drained both to increase the lead to six.
Two missed 3-point attempts lead to the Saints having to foul again, putting Kassid DeJong at the line. She knocked down both, putting the game at an eight point lead. As Leah Sims sank a layup for cut it to six, there was just 16 seconds left on the clock. Another foul put Maneman at the line again, sinking the pair to again bring the lead to eight. Kassidy DeJong went back to the line to lock up the game for sure. Making one to bring the lead back to 8, a final Leah Sims layup ended the game with a final of 89-83.
The Red Raiders finished the game with five players dropping 10 or more points. Three of those five also finished with 10 or more rebounds, Kassidy DeJong, Darbi Gustafson, and Anna Kiel all ended the game with a double-double. But the star of the game was Renee Maneman, as the senior achieved a career mark of 1000 points. She finished the game with 17, as well as a game-high eight assists.
Northwestern’s close finish in overtime gave them a spot in the semifinals on Monday. They’ll take on GPAC foe Concordia (Neb.) at 8:00 P.M. at Tyson Event Center.