Alaskans key CMU’s win over reigning NAIA national champion

January 7, 2017

Jerica Nelson basketball

Jerica Nelson

What do you get when you cross Central Methodist University women’s basketball team with three Alaskans?

The upset of the year.

Alaskans Jerica Nelson of Kodiak and NeNe Hale and CeCe Cockerham of Anchorage combined for 40 points as 16th-ranked CMU knocked off fifth-ranked and defending NAIA national champion MidAmerica Nazarene University 77-74 in Fayette, Missouri.

Nelson, of Kodiak High fame, came off the bench to score a career-high 16 points on 3-for-3 shooting from downtown. She added five assists and a pair of steals.

The 5-foot-5 sophomore and UAA transfer has made her last four 3-point attempts after starting just 4-for-14 from long range.

Nelson leads CMU with 54 assists and 34 steals in 14 games.

NeNe Hale basketball

DaJonee Hale

Hale, of Houston High fame, scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

The 5-foot-8 junior started at guard and played 37 minutes.

Last year she was an NAIA All-American and this year leads the Heart of America Conference with a 20.2-point scoring average.

She also ranks fourth in field goal percentage [.500, 101-for-202] in 14 games.

Hale has had high scoring games of 37, 29 and 26 games this season and sits just 58 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point milestone. Right now she has 942 career points in 60 games.

Chamira Cockerham basketball

Chamira Cockerham

Cockerham, of West High fame, came off the bench to score a season-high nine points in 16 minutes.

She added five rebounds, a steal and an assist.

The 5-foot-10 junior forward made her living at the free-throw line, where she made 7-of-8 attempts.

Central Methodist [12-2] improved top 8-2 in conference, one game back of league leaders Baker University and MidAmerica Nazarene.