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WBB: Umpqua outlasts Big Bend 80-73 to advance to Final Four

2019-03-16 15:01:03

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The first game of the NWAC Women’s Final Four featured the East Region champion Big Bend Vikings vs. the South Region champion Umpqua Riverhawks.  It a great game with over 24 lead changes and 18 times.  The Riverhawks prevailed 80-73 and move on to the championship game tomorrow at 2pm.

Both teams showed some big game jitters as they turned the ball over on multiple possessions.   At the first media timeout, the Riverhawks held a 7-5 lead as Darian Mitchell’s five points paced Umpqua.   The first quarter concluded with the Vikings leading the Riverhawks 15-13. Abby Broadbent led the Vikings charge with 8 first quarter points. 

For the third game in a row, UCC reserve point guard Cielo Gonzalez provided a spark of the bench with 14 points in the half as the lead changed multiple times.  The second quarter saw the pace pick up with teams running their fastbreak offense and getting easy baskets.

At the half, the Vikings held a 41-38 lead led by a balanced scoring with Anna Yarbro 11 points, Broadbent 8 points, and Leah Dougherty with 7 points.  Big Bend shot 42% for the half but also had 12 offensive rebounds.   

The 14 points of Gonzalez and 9 points by Taylor Stricklin paced Riverhawks who shot 58% for the half.  The Riverhawks had 18 turnovers in the half.  In the first half alone, the lead changed hands 19 times.

To start the second half the Riverhawks went on a 6-0 run to take a 43-38 lead.  Only to see the Vikings go on a 5-0 run to tie it up. The teams continued to trade the lead and at the media timeout, the Vikings led the Riverhawks 53-49.  Umpqua went on a 9-3 run to end the quarter with the lead 58-56 as the Vikings went cold from the field.

To begin the fourth quarter, Abby Broadbent hit two three-point baskets to give the lead back to the Vikings at 65-60.  With the game tied 70-70 with less than two minutes to go, the Riverhawks took the lead 72-70 on lay-up by Taylor Stricklin.  Big Bend then turned it over and Taylor Stricklin hit a 3 point basketball to give the Riverhawks a 75-70 lead with 40 seconds to go.  Stricklin scored UCC’s last 10 points to seal the 80-73 victory.  Umpqua advances to the championship game for the second time in two years.

Umpqua was led by Stricklin’s 29 points, Grace Campbell with 16 points and 18 rebounds, Gonzalez with  16 points, and Darian Mitchell’s 10 points.

Big Bend was led Abby Broadbent with 19 points, Kelsey Sorenson 15 points and Anna Yarbro, 13 points and 10 rebounds.

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