Getting the lead wasn’t easy while the Midland University junior varsity was making 9 of 16 3-point shots in the first half.

But the Hawks persevered, picked up the defensive energy and, with contributions from various players, the Northeast Community College women’s basketball team earned an 83-65 win over the Warriors on Friday evening at the Cox Activities Center.

“A lot of those GPAC teams shoot it pretty well, so on a night when the ball is going in the basket, it can be a problem,” Hawks coach Matt Svehla said. “In that first half, they were 9 of 16, but we had a hard time guarding everything in the first half — cuts to the basket, their drives and anytime the ball gets in the lane, it creates some shots.”

With the Hawks up 47-43, Rachel Culhane drained two 3s in a row and Frankie Klausen added another for a 52-48 Midland lead.

The Northeast defense — paced again by Alexis Bliven, Autumn Dickmander and Molly Davis steals — went to work, leading the Hawks to a 55-54 lead when Davis found Hassett in transition. The Hawks then used a press to force a 10-second violation and scored on Dickmander’s assist to Ashley Hassett inside on the ensuing possession.

The effort helped Northeast finish the third quarter with a 63-59 lead and, with its defense pressuring ballhandlers and contesting 3s, the Hawks limited the Warriors to 2 of 14 shooting from the field in the final period. Northeast didn’t allow a Midland field goal in the final four minutes while outscoring the Warriors 20-6 to seal the 83-65 win.

“These 83 points are the most we’ve scored all year,” Svehla said. “We shot free throws pretty well (18-24), and I liked how even our scoring was in the four quarters — 19, 25, 19, 20.”

But the Hawks had to come back after being down throughout the game.

Northeast trailed 12-7 before an 8-0 run allowed the Hawks to tie the game, but the Warriors sank three 3s as part of a 11-4 run to lead 23-19 after one quarter.

A pair of Bliven steals sparked the Hawks defensively to forge another tie score at 28 but, once again, Midland managed a run, this time outscoring Northeast 10-1 for its biggest lead of the game 38-29, after a Culhane 3.

The Hawks turned up the defensive intensity — with Bliven, Dickmander and Davis all producing steals that produced a 15-3 Northeast run to earn a 44-41 halftime advantage.

“Different people did good things at different times,” Svehla said. “Then everybody started playing pretty good defense.”

Bliven contributed 13 points in the first half, along with six steals and five assists, while Davis — who finished with a career high 16 points — had 11 of those in the first half, making all four of her field goal tries and 3 of 4 free throws, along with grabbing a team-high four rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Hawks played much of the first half without Hassett, their leading scorer who played just seven minutes because of foul problems.

“Ashley had two fouls early, and we were trying not to let her get a third because we need her,” Svehla said. “She’s our leading scorer and sat a lot of minutes in the first half, which didn’t allow us to get going. But other people stepped up, and I thought we finished the first half pretty well.”

Northeast trailed just once more, again due to the Warriors’ 3-point shooting.

Northeast finished the game with four players in double figures, led by Hassett’s 21 points, followed by Bliven, Davis and Dickmander with 16 points each.

The Hawks improve to 3-4 on the season and will host Southeast Community College on Tuesday.

Midland JV 23 18 18 6 — 65

Northeast Community College 19 25 19 20 — 83

Midland University JV (0-5): Rachel Culhane 4-14 2-4 14, Lexi Glosser 1-4 1-2 3, Frankie Klausen 5-9 0-0 15, Kaley Einrem 7-7 3-4 19, Caitlyn Lessig 0-3 0-0 0, Mikayla Duran 2-7 0-0 4, Hannah Madison 1-1 0-0 2, Avery Tilley 1-8 0-0 2, Anna Fitzgerald 2-4 0-0 6. Totals: 23-57 6-10 65.

Northeast CC (3-4): Alexis Bliven 5-9 7-8 17, Molly Davis 5-5 6-8 16, Ashley Hassett 9-16 3-6 21, Lorna Maxon 3-5 2-2 8, Autumn Dickmander 7-18 0-0 16, Jaydy Gonzalez 0-2 0-0 0, Marta Pons 2-8 0-0 5. Totals: 31-63 18-24 83.

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