Tahlequah Daily Press

February 22, 2014

NSU teams fall at Central Oklahoma

— EDMOND – The Northeastern State women’s basketball team lost 69-65 Saturday afternoon inside Hamilton Field House.

The RiverHawks (10-14, 7-10 MIAA) lost their fourth-straight game, while the Bronchos (11-13, 6-11 MIAA) snapped a seven-game losing streak on their Senior Day. NSU remained in solo eighth in the current MIAA standings despite the loss. The team is one game ahead of UCO and Northwest Missouri State, and a top-8 finish would allow the RiverHawks to host a first-round game in the MIAA Championship on March 3.

Junior guard Fontana Tate finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for her first-career double-double. Sophomore guard Kate Bellamy added 14 points and eight rebounds.

Northeastern State shot 40 percent (22-for-55) from the field, 43.5 percent (10-for-23) from behind the arc and 73.3 percent (11-for-15) from the free-throw line. UCO shot 37.5 percent (24-for-64) from the field, 20 percent (6-for-30) from three-point territory and 78.9 percent (15-for-19) at the charity stripe.

Jill Bryan paced the Bronchos with 22 points. Britney Morgan scored 13, Julia Mason added 12, and Olivia Mason contributed 10 rebounds.

The last lead for NSU came at 14:40 in the first half when the visitors were up 7-6. Central Oklahoma used a 6-0 run to take a 13-6 advantage, and the home team pulled ahead 27-14 by the 5:31 mark before taking a 36-21 edge into halftime.

The RiverHawks used a 44-point second half to make things interesting, but they could never get closer than three points down the stretch as UCO held off multiple slate charges.

Women: UCO 63, NSU 56

The Northeastern State men’s basketball lost 63-56 to Central Oklahoma Saturday afternoon inside Hamilton Field House.

The RiverHawks (13-11, 8-9 MIAA) remained in a tie for eighth place in the MIAA standings with Nebraska-Kearney, while the Bronchos (17-7, 11-6 MIAA) won their sixth in a row to stay in fifth.

Senior guard Bryton Hobbs finished with a team-high 15 points despite not attempting a shot in the first half for the second time in three games. Senior forward Marcus Sheppard added 14 points for the visitors.

Northeastern State shot 35.2 percent (19-for-54) from the field, 35.7 percent (10-for-28) from downtown and 72.7 percent (8-for-11) at the free-throw line. UCO shot 47.8 percent (22-for-46) from the field, 31.3 percent (5-for-16) from downtown and 66.7 percent (14-for-21) at the line.

The Bronchos had more turnovers than NSU (16-13) but dominated the boards (38-28) and had 20 more points in the paint (32-12).

Josh Gibbs led Central Oklahoma with 16 points, and Aaron Anderson added 15.

Northeastern State jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but the Bronchos quickly got back into the contest and tied the game at 13-13 with 11:45 left in the opening half. The two teams went back and forth for the remainder of the first 20 minutes, and UCO used a late spurt to pull ahead 31-26 at intermission.

NSU battled back to take a 36-35 advantage at the 14:26 mark of the second half, but that was the last time the RiverHawks sniffed the lead.

Central Oklahoma exploded on an 11-0 run in just two minutes, and Northeastern State could not recover. The road team never got closer than five points the rest of the way.

NSU is currently in a tie for eighth place in the MIAA with Nebraska-Kearney (12-12, 8-9 MIAA). The RiverHawks and Lopers lock up at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Kearney, Neb. The winner will likely earn a home game in the first round of the MIAA Championship, while the loser will likely be forced to travel.

The NSU men will also be at Nebraska Kearney on Wednesday.