Point Lookout, Mo. Haskell Indian Nations University won its opener Friday in the Midland College Athletic Conference women’s basketball tournament.
The Indians overcame an early 10-point deficit to defeat Peru State, 76-61, and set up a meeting today with College of the Ozarks for the championship.
Justina George had 21 points, four assists and four steals for the Indians, Maria Parker had 17 points and seven rebounds, and Kortney Smith scored 15 points.
Peru State committed 30 turnovers, and Haskell made 16 steals.
“We got 34 points off of turnovers,” Haskell coach Phil Homeratha noted. “We just went to our hard press.”
Haskell trailed 12-2 early and 36-32 at halftime.
“The major different in the ballgame was in the first half, they shot 56 percent, and in the second half, they shot 36 percent,” Homeratha said. “That’s a pretty good dropoff. We limited their shots a lot more. We limited what they could do. It was just a great job of the kids getting focused.”
Haskell (16-8) will play College of the Ozarks (26-5) at 3 p.m. today for the tournament title. If the Indians win, they’ll go to the national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.
The Indians’ Kortney Smith and Maria Parker were named first-team all-conference, and Justina George received honorable mention. Homeratha was named conference coach of the year.