Poly wears down Northwestern

December 18, 1993|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer

The half-court offense of Poly left Northwestern a fraction of itself.

Point guard Angela Brice helped host Poly run a tempo-controlling half-court offense in the second half, and Jawai Maith scored 21 points and Kenya Holman added 15 to help the Engineers rally for a 66-57 victory over No. 18 Northwestern in a City-Wide 3A-2A game yesterday.

Northwestern (3-1, 1-1) used its speed and quickness to repeatedly run fast breaks. The Wildcats would throw long outlet passes that set up uncontested layups or two-on-none and three-on-one fast breaks. This helped Northwestern to a 32-24 halftime lead.

The second half was a different story. Poly coach Mark Sawyer told his team to slow down the tempo. About halfway through the third quarter, he got his wish.

Brice began to set the offense on each possession. Poly (3-2, 2-0) started working the clock. Holman scored five points in an 11-0 run that gave Poly a 43-39 lead late in the third quarter.

That run helped the momentum swing in Poly's favor. The Engineers scored all 11 points in only 1:32, taking the lead for good.

"I knew that we couldn't really keep up with them if we ran back and forth," said Brice. "I had to slow the ball down."

And slowing the ball down also meant getting it inside to center Holman and forward Maith. Holman repeatedly posted up and found good shots that she made or got fouled trying.

"I knew if I didn't make the shot, then there [would be] some kind of way I'd get fouled," said Holman. "We knew if we passed it around, [we'd] get the ball inside."

The 5-foot-10 senior also grabbed 13 rebounds and made several good passes through traffic. She and Maith (nine rebounds) sparked the team in the fourth quarter. Both scored eight and accounted for 16 of the team's 21 points.

Poly slowly pulled away in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats cut the lead to three, but Poly answered with a free throw apiece from Kelly Logan and Lisa Keller (10 points) plus a Holman turnaround jumper for a 53-46 lead with 4:59 left. Northwestern got no closer than five after that.

The slowdown also helped Poly with ball-handing. Before the 11-0 run late in the third quarter, the Engineers had turned it over 22 times. Poly, which got 11 points from Kendall Peace, turned it over only two times in the final 10:30.

"The slow game did benefit us," said Sawyer. "That was the key, that we did a good job slowing it down."

The Engineers also did a good job of scoring. From the time they trailed, 39-32, late in the third quarter, Poly outscored Northwestern, 34-18.

Northwestern loves to run and did a lot of it early. The Wildcats, behind Katina Hurt (30 points) and Darnetta Wilkens (14 points) made layup after layup for 2 1/2 quarters.

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