EDMOND — Christian Cook made his first nine buckets as Northeastern State overcame a bumpy start and finish to beat the University of Mary 80-70 Friday afternoon.
Cook led all scorers on the floor with 24 points and sank four three-pointers in the win. In their first game at NSU, Tylor Arnold and Emeka Obukwelu recorded double-doubles.
Obukwelu had 23 points and ten rebounds. Arnold scored 13 with ten boards and paced the team with six assists.
The RiverHawks (1-0) shot 55.8-percent (29-52) from the field, landing 11 three-pointers on the Marauders (0-1).
Both teams exchanged the lead until the final nine minutes of the first half, where the RiverHawks finished the opening 20 minutes on an 18-11 run. Cook scored seven of his nine first-half points during the final 8:46 of the half, with NSU shooting 7-12 during that span. UMary went scoreless in the final three minutes, with NSU scoring five unanswered to head to the locker room with a 33-25 lead.
Northeastern State came out of the locker room blazing, making nine of their first ten shots, expanding their lead out to 20 with nine minutes to go. A Mary 9-0 run in the closing minutes prevented the RiverHawks from closing the door. With just a minute in the game, Mary narrowed the gap to 73-66 before NSU iced the game at the free-throw line.
Mary was led by Kan Warrens, who had 16 points. The Marauders did finish with a 33-30 rebounding edge over the RiverHawks.
The RiverHawks return to action Saturday, where they will face Northwestern Oklahoma at 3 p.m. in Edmond.