Emporia State 72, NSU (men) 67
The Northeastern State men’s basketball team was defeated 72-67 to Emporia State Wednesday night inside the NSU Event Center.
The RiverHawks (11-6, 6-4 MIAA) have now lost four of their last five games, while the Hornets (13-6, 6-3 MIAA) improved their win streak to four games.
Northeastern State had four players score in double figures, led by 21 points from senior guard Bryton Hobbs. Junior forward Curtis Evans added 12, while junior guards Dalen Qualls (11) and Michael Harmon (10) also hit double digits.
NSU was outrebounded for the fifth-straight game (31-25), and the Hornets also led in points in the paint (36-26), assists (9-7), second-chance points (10-4), and bench points (23-14).
The RiverHawks shot 42.9 percent (18-for-42) from the field, 30.8 percent (4-for-13) from downtown and 73 percent (27-for-37) at the free-throw line. Emporia State shot 48 percent (24-for-50) from the field, 26.7 percent (4-for-15) from distance and 71.4 percent (20-for-28) at the charity stripe.
ESU was led by Terrence Moore’s 17 points. Kaleb Wright finished with 16 points despite shooting just 3-for-13 from the field, and Paul Bunch added 11 points and eight rebounds.
Neither team led by more than four points in the early going. It wasn’t until NSU closed the half on a 23-8 run to lead 39-28 at intermission that either team led by double digits.
Northeastern State really began to pick up momentum at the 4:18 mark when Hobbs came out of the game and NSU led 25-22. The RiverHawks were 5-for-5 from the field with Hobbs on the bench and had four different members of the team contribute on the scoreboard in the final minutes of the opening half.
Hobbs played the entire second half and tried to take the game over by attacking the rim on nearly every offensive possession, but the Hornets were able to fend off NSU as they stormed back to take their first lead of the game with 8:48 to play. The visiting side closed the game strong and was able to leave Tahlequah with a five-point victory.