Quiet for most of the second half, Abby Meader made two big plays in the final minute to help boost Lincoln Southwest to victory Tuesday night.
The junior guard sank the go-ahead layup with 30 seconds left and then made a steal shortly after that to help the visiting Silver Hawks defeat Omaha Northwest 62-60. Ninth-ranked Southwest moved to 10-6 while the sixth-ranked Huskies fell to 9-5.
Meader, who had 13 in the first half, didn't make her first basket of the second until the one that put the Silver Hawks on top 60-58. After the Huskies inbounded the ball, she made the steal and was fouled with 23 seconds left.
She made one free throw to give Southwest a three-point cushion, which proved important when Ti'Rayah Cotton scored for the Huskies with 16 seconds remaining. The Silver Hawks' Sami Beets added a free throw five seconds later, and Northwest was unable to tie the game in the closing seconds.
“Abby is a great player, but she was nonexistent for most of the second half,” Southwest coach Lis Brenden said. “But she made the plays when we needed them.”
The Huskies, seeking their sixth straight win, trailed 34-31 at halftime. Northwest took a 47-46 lead entering the fourth quarter after DeAyra Davis — one of six freshmen on the roster — sank a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter to lead the way.
Northwest widened its lead to seven midway through the fourth quarter before the Silver Hawks went on a 10-2 run to inch ahead 58-57 with 1:10 remaining. A free throw by the Huskies' Simone Goods tied it, but Southwest took the lead for good on Meader's basket.
“They kind of shut me down, so I knew I had to bring the team up,” Meader said. “This is a huge win for us.”
The Silver Hawks, who were coming off a four-point loss at Omaha Central, received a balanced scoring effort. McKenna Dodd and Creighton volleyball recruit Marysa Wilkinson chipped in 15 each while Beets, who scored Southwest's final point, added 10.
“This is big because we really felt we should have won that Central game,” Brenden said. “Northwest is good, and it took a real team effort to beat them.”
The teams shot roughly the same from the field — 41 percent for Northwest, 40 percent for Southwest — but the difference came at the free-throw line. The Silver Hawks made 14 of 27 (51 percent) while the Huskies sank 7 of 18 (38 percent).
Northwest had four players score in double figures. Deleyah Harris finished with 13, Goods and Davis each had 12 and Cotton added 10.
Goods also pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds, while Wilkinson had 11 for Southwest.
The Silver Hawks have another tough game ahead, hosting No. 2 Millard West on Thursday night. Northwest will host Norfolk the same night.
Lincoln Southwest (10-6) ........... 14 20 12 16—62
At Omaha Northwest (9-5) ......... 15 16 16 13—60
LSW: Taylor Els 0-2 1-5 1, Sami Beets 3-7 1-2 10, Elizabeth Nunnally 0-1 0-0 0, Madison Kelle 0-3 0-0 0, Jessica Rogers 1-2 1-2 3, McKenna Dodd 4-13 3-6 15, Abby Meader 6-11 5-6 18, Marysa Wilkinson 6-10 3-6 15.
ONW: DeAyra Davis 5-10 0-0 12, Deleyah Harris 6-14 0-2 13, Jaden Wrightsell 1-4 2-3 4, Raven Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Dejanay Davis 1-4 0-0 2, Ti'Rayah Cotton 4-10 0-4 10, Simone Goods 5-10 2-5 12, Nadia Donovan 2-5 3-4 7.
3-point goals: LSW 8-17 (Beets 3-5, Nunnally 0-1, Dodd 4-10, Meader 1-1); ONW 5-20 (DeAyra Davis 2-6, Harris 1-6, Wrightsell 0-3, Dejanay Davis 0-1, Cotton 2-4). Rebounds: LSW 38 (Wilkinson 11); ONW 31 (Goods 13). Total fouls: LSW 15; ONW 18. Fouled out: Wrightsell. Turnovers: LSW 16; ONW 16. Field-goal percentage: LSW .408; ONW .413. Free-throw percentage: LSW .518; ONW .388.