The Bearcats jumped out to a 5-0 lead early in the first quarter before spending the rest of the half in a close battle with the Riverhawks to end the half leading 27-26.
In the third quarter, Northwest led with another 5-0 run on an Emma Atwood layup and a Kylie Coleman 3-pointer before Northeastern made a run of their own to continue the close the gap. The Riverhawks finished the third quarter with a 6-0 run of their own to lead the Bearcats 46-40 heading into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, Jaelyn Haggard and Kylie Coleman each dropped a 3-pointer and Molly Hartnett scored two of her team-high 22 points to help bring the Bearcats back within two. Northeastern proved to be too much for the Bearcats, however, and closed out the game on an 8-3 run in the last four minutes.
Hartnett led the Bearcats in her career debut with 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field. Coleman chipped in 17 points of her own, one off her career high, on 7-of-10 shooting, including three 3-pointers. They were the only Bearcats that scored in double figures. Hartnett also led Northwest with nine rebounds while Jayna Green added six with four assists and four blocks.
Northeastern had three players score in double figures in Zaria Collins (22 points), Cenia Hayes (20 points), and Shae Sanchez (11 points). Hayes recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds as well.
The Bearcats will be back in action Saturday afternoon as they take on Rogers State at 1:30 p.m. in Claremore, Oklahoma.