It took Phil Homeratha more than three minutes to find the right keys to let his Haskell Indians Nations University womenÃ¢ÂÂs basketball team inside its locker room at halftime.
The FightinÃ¢ÂÂ Indians found the keys to victory on the court in less than 30 seconds after the break.
Junior forward Melissa MossettÃ¢ÂÂs lay-in and free throw didnÃ¢ÂÂt give Haskell a lead it wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt relinquish Saturday at the Coffin Sports Complex, but her three-point play was typical of the IndiansÃ¢ÂÂ dominant post play which keyed HaskellÃ¢ÂÂs 75-63 victory against Graceland University.
Ã¢ÂÂOur high-low game was really working together tonight,Ã¢ÂÂ said Homeratha of his forwards, who share the same first name and had identical big games.
Mossett and Melissa Catron combined for 40 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists and provided the majority of the IndiansÃ¢ÂÂ tough play in the post, which helped Haskell to its third home victory.
Ã¢ÂÂThey both play so hard down there,Ã¢ÂÂ said Homeratha, whose team improved to 3-5 on the year.
Both forwards provided their points in the paint behind different parameters.
Mossett often would set up at the top of the key and either swing the ball down low to Catron or forward Marinda Lamon, who scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds, or drive off her dribble.
Catron, who scored 19 on 8-of-18 shooting, seemed to always be in position for a putback rebound.
But Mossett, who scored 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting and dished out seven assists, had the uncanny knack of scoring on a lay-in while getting fouled. She connected on 7-of-8 free throws.
Ã¢ÂÂThat was the first time that we really connected like that this season,Ã¢ÂÂ said Catron, who said Homeratha tried to use nicknames to differentiate between her and Mossett at the beginning of the season but finally stuck with their last names.
While Haskell quickly found itself down 22-11 after eight minutes, the IndiansÃ¢ÂÂ biggest problem Saturday was Homeratha having the right keys.
Ã¢ÂÂLast night one of the menÃ¢ÂÂs assistant coaches broke off a key in the locker room and we had to climb over the wall to get in there,Ã¢ÂÂ said a smiling Homeratha, whoÃ¢ÂÂs also HaskellÃ¢ÂÂs athletic director. Ã¢ÂÂI have a master key on a smaller key chain that will open up any door, but the girls kept trying to find the key on my big chain.Ã¢ÂÂ
Behind Mossett and CatronÃ¢ÂÂs combined 17 first-half points and 15 more by Lamon and guard Kateri Schaaf, Haskell took a two-point lead into the intermission.
The score flip-flopped until the seven-minute mark when Lamon score on a lay-in off a pretty pass from Mossett. Haskell finished the game with a 21-10 run.
Ã¢ÂÂThere were a lot of keys tonight,Ã¢ÂÂ Homeratha said with a smile. Ã¢ÂÂOur two forwards were sure one of the right ones.Ã¢ÂÂ
Haskell 75, Graceland 63
Michelle Acosta 10-20 0-1 22, Nina McAlister 4-16 4-7 12, Casey Cole 2-8 4-4 9, Elizabeth Hooten 0-1 0-0 0, Adrienne Nickles 0-3 0-0 0, Stacey Osborn 0-4 0-0 0, Cadey Dryer 0-0 0-0 0, Erin Bishop 0-0 0-0 0, Kylie Heintz 4-5 0-0 8, Gennifer Divelbiss 4-12 3-4 12. Totals 24-69 11-16 63.
Kateri Schaaf 4-13 0-0 10, Shawnavyn Joe 1-8 5-5 7, Melissa Mossett 7-15 7-8 21, Delicia Gransen 2-10 1-2 7, Marinda Lamon 4-6 2-2 11, Melissa Catron 8-18 2-10 19, Lisa Dixon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-70 17-27 75.
Three-point goals - Graceland 4-17 (Acosta 2-6, Cole 1-2, Divelbiss 1-4, Heintz 0-1, Nickles 0-2, Osborn 0-2), Haskell 6-13 (Gransen 2-3, Schaaf 2-6, Catron 1-1, Lamon 1-2, Joe 0-1). Turnovers - Graceland 21, Haskell 25. Totals fouls - Graceland 22, Haskell 17.