Home is where the wins were for 11th ranked Lady Argos basketball. UGF recovered from two loss in the Las Vegas to defeat (10) Wayland Baptist University 88-80 in their home opener.
“This was a big win for us against a good, ranked opponent,” UGF head coach Bill Himmelberg said. “Wayland Baptist is a very good and very well coached team and I through our girls did a great job responding after some tough losses last week.”
The Flying Queens came in after a tough overtime loss to Montana State University – Northern the night before and the game looked like it was going to be another close one.
The first bucket of the night came from UGF but five minutes into the first quarter it was the Flying Queens up by four. That lead soon dwindled and would prove to be the largest of the game for WBU.
After that early deficit, the first half belonged to the Argo’s senior guard Erin Legal. The preseason All-American was almost flawless in in the first two minutes, scoring 24 points primarily off of 6 3-point shots, each one deeper than the last.
Her shooting, and good post play from junior forward Nneka Nnadi brought UGF a 15 point lead in the second quarter and a 12 point lead at the half.
To start the second half, the Flying Queens focused their defense on Legal and the strategy worked, at least for a while. WBU outscored UGF 29-19 in the third quarter thanks to quieting Legal and some hot shooting of their own.
Up just two with 10 minutes to go, the Lady Argos answered back. Nnadi and junior guard Morgan Grier took over the scoring from the shutdown Legal while the UGF defense tightened up their efforts.
“We did a much better job adjusting to their defense in the fourth and our girls played better, selfless basketball,” Himmelberg said. “They really didn’t care if they weren’t the ones scoring as long as it meant we were winning.”
A few small UGF runs soon put the team up by 11 with little time left and good free throw shooting from Nnadi, Legal, and sophomore guard Stephanie McDonagh sealed the win.
Despite scoring just four points in the second half, Legal let all scorers with 28 points off of 9 for 15 shooting, including 6 of 8 from three. She also contributed seven rebounds and three assists.
UGF’s next highest score was Nnadi, who was the team’s most consistent player with ten points in the first and 14 in the second half. Ndadi, Legal, and junior center Whitney George helped the Lady Argos win the rebounding battle 43-35.
The win if a valuable one for the Argo’s ranking in the upcoming coaches’ poll after losing to two ranked teams in their previous two games. Their record now stands at 6-2. They will play an exhibition at Montana State University on November 28, before starting conference play with a road game against the University of Montana Western on December 3 at 5:30 p.m.
University of Great Falls Sports Information