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Mavericks lasso SSC Trojans in Region II first round

Brian Johnson
Sports Editor
Seminole State's Latarryus Smith (12) shoots over Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa's Demaree King (23) as King's teammate Deaveon Bankston (22) establishes rebounding position Thursday night at OBU's Noble Complex.

A three-plus minute scoreless drought by the Seminole State College Trojans enabled the Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa Mavericks go on a 9-0 run and take control in securing a 77-71 first-round victory Thursday night in the NJCAA Region II Tournament at Oklahoma Baptist University's Noble Complex.

The two teams were deadlocked at 55 when a steal and layup by Malik Crawford, followed by a conventional 3-point play from Crawford ignited the 9-0 spurt. JD Ray and Demaree King each drained a pair of free throws.

Seminole State did manage to cut the deficit to three after an Anthony Thomas runner off the glass with 12 seconds remaining. The Mavericks went on to hit six straight free shots – four by King and two from Ray to ice the game. During that stretch Anthony Thomas banked in a trey for the Trojans with three seconds left.

King poured in 20 points on 5-of-10-shooting, including a 4-of-7 from 3-point range, and 6-of-9 free throws. Ray added 15 points and six assists as he was a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe and Avanter Lederer followed with 14 points after going 6-of-11 from the floor.

NOC-Tonkawa shot 40.4% from the field and the Trojans were 48.3%. However, the Mavericks had five more 3-pointers. SSC even held a 46-30 rebounding advantage.

But a major critical difference was turnovers – the Trojans committed 21 to only 11 for NOC-Tonkawa.

Jordan Williams and Elijah Diouf led SSC with 10 points apiece. Kris Wyche and Anthony Kiser followed with nine each and Smith and Nate Johnson ended up with eight apiece. Nine players got into the scoring column for the Trojans.

Williams and Johnson each pulled down seven rebounds to lead SSC on the boards.

The Mavericks will take on Murray State tonight in the semifinals at 8 o'clock.

NORTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA A&M 99, EASTERN OKLAHOMA STATE 68

The Golden Norse rode high energy and 59% second-half shooting to dispose of the Mountaineers in a first-round clash.

Leading 37-31 at the half, NEO outscored EOSC by a whopping 62-37 margin in the final 20 minutes.

The Mountaineers were within single digits with 10:35 before the Golden Norse blew the hinges off the door with a 13-0 spurt. In fact, NEO went on a 39-17 scoring rampage over the final 10:06 of the contest.

Back-to-back old-fashioned 3-point plays – one each from Jadan Graves and Tryen Collins – ignited the big run down the stretch. Collins also scored off a put-back shot, Samkelo Cele scored off a Graves steal and assist and Rudi Williams hit 1-of-2 free shots and registered a bucket off a Kalil Camara assist on the break to make it 73-51.

EOSC was unable to get closer than 18 the rest of the way.

Five NEO players got into double figures, led by 18 each from Williams and Cele.

Williams, who had 14 of his points in the second half, finished the game 7-of-15 from the floor, with one trey, to go with seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Cele had 11 of his points in the second half to go with six rebounds and three assists as he was 7-of-14 from the floor.

Graves followed with 17 points as he was 5-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range. He also ended up 5-of-5 from the line as the Golden Norse were 17-of-20 from the free-throw stripe (85%).

Collins chipped in 11 points and Nikita Konstantynovski added 10 as he came one rebound away from a double-double with nine for NEO, which shot 52.1% from the field for the game. The Golden Norse were 8-of-25 from outside the arc (32%).

Dante Adams paced the Mountaineers with a game-high 20 points and Karmin Byrd contributed 16 as they were the only players to reach double figures.

Adams was 9-of-15 from the floor, with two treys, and Byrd had a team-leading eight rebounds.

EOSC shot 42% for the game and only 26.7% (8-of-30) from 3-point land. The Mountaineers attempted just six free shots and made only two.

The Golden Norse, 24-6, face Northern Oklahoma-Enid Friday at 6 p.m. in the semifinals.

NORTHERN OKLAHOMA-ENID 98, CONNORS STATE 86

Zach McDermott fired in 34 points, handed out five assists and recorded three steals to propel the NOC-Enid Jets to a 12-point victory over the Connors State Cowboys.

McDermott scored 21 of his points in the first half as he finished the game 12-of-18 from the floor, including 7-of-8 from 3-point territory. He also drained 3-of-4 free shots.

NOC-Enid shot 57.8% from the field and was an impressive 66.7% (12-of-18) from outside the arc. The Jets also canned 70.6% of their free-throw tries.

Joining McDermott in double figures were Jalan Stamps with 16 points and three assists and Josh Perkins and Questyn Luckey each finished with 14 points. Stamps was 6-of-12 from the floor with three assists. Perkins had a 7-of-9 shooting effort to go with nine rebounds and Luckey was 5-of-8, with one trey, to go with a pair of assists.

Connors State received a game-high 26 points from Jahcoree Ealy and Callen Haydon tossed in 23 as the pair combined for nine 3-point baskets. Ealy was 9-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-4 from 3-point territory, Haydon was 7-of-17 overall and 5-of-10 from long range.

Jordan Graham supplied 16 points, including one 3-point basket, for the Cowboys and Caleb Riggs tacked on 13 points.

Haydon dished out six assists and Riggs collected five.

Connors State shot 52.6% from the floor and hit at a 61.9% clip from outside the arc. The Cowboys nailed 76.5% (13-of-17) of their free-throw attempts.

The Jets owned a 35-26 advantage on the boards.

NOC-Enid takes on NEO Friday in the semifinals at 6 p.m.

MURRAY STATE COLLEGE 82, ARKANSAS BAPTIST COLLEGE 62

Five Aggies scored in double figures as Murray State limited the Buffaloes to 36.2% shooting.

Dyson Plumley led the way for the Aggies with 16 points. Cedric Garrett and Shem'mario Stephens tallied 13 points each. Kori Guest followed with 12 and Jaylan Thomas had 10 as Murray State College shot 45.9% from the field and was 34.5% (10-of-29) from the 3-point area.

Arkansas Baptist managed just one trey the entire night in going 1-of-12 (8.3%). The Buffaloes also fell victim to 26 turnovers as the Aggies registered 14 steals, including three from Plumley and two each from Kyle Murray, Adam Nance and Jerry Carraway.

Marcus Hunter led Arkansas Baptist with 12 points while Devonta Harkless and Deonte Bell ended up with 10 apiece.

The Buffaloes never held a lead in the game as the Aggies led by as much as 27 with 8:57 to go in the game. The largest run by the Aggies was a 12-0 spurt in the first half.

Murray State will face Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa tonight at 8 o'clock in the semifinals at the Noble Complex.

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