Murray State nabs Region II basketball sweep in Shawnee
Murray State College made it a sweep.
The Lady Aggies knocked off Northern Oklahoma College-Enid, 86-69, to capture the NJCAA Region II women's basketball championship Saturday at Oklahoma Baptist University's Noble Complex.
The Murray State men then followed that up to win the NJCAA Region II men's basketball title with a 58-55 decision over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.
By virtue of the two victories the Murray State squads will head to their respective national tournaments. The men will play in Hutchinson, Kansas and the women in Lubbock, Texas.
MURRAY STATE 86, NOC-ENID 69 (Women)
Alaijah Stewart and Jillian Ingram combined for 12 3-pointers as the Lady Aggies were an amazing 20-of-32 from 3-point range.
Stewart fired in 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 6-of-11 from outside the arc. Ingram was a perfect 8-of-8 from the floor, including 6-of-6 from 3-point land.
In fact, Murray State shot better from long range (62.5%) than overall (53.6% on 30-of-56 tries).
Randaysha Hansen joined Stewart and Ingram in double figures with 15 as she also knocked down three 3-point shots. Kes Reeves also nailed three treys in finishing with nine points to go with nine assists and seven boards.
The Lady Aggies' best overall shooting quarter was the fourth as they hit at 66.7% pace and outscored the Jets in that quarter, 22-14. Their best 3-point shooting period was the third when they connected on 71.4% (5-of-7) of their attempts.
Shelby Black paced the Jets with a game-high 25 points, including seven 3-pointers, and Lauren Wade chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds.
However, NOC-Enid shot just 34.8% for the game and were only 28.9% (11-of-38) from outside the arc.
The Jets held a 12-point lead at one point during the second quarter.
A 14-0 run in the fourth period enabled the Lady Aggies to pull away.
Tonijah Fortune recorded a game-high six steals to go with eight points and seven assists in a losing cause.
MURRAY STATE 58, NEO 55 (Men)
Both team were far from lighting it up as the Aggies were only 36.5% overall while NEO was just 35.2%
But Murray State made just enough plays down the stretch and hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final four seconds to secure the crown.
Dyson Plumley tallied 18 points and Jaylan Thomas added 14 for the Aggies.
Samkelo Cele tossed in 17 points and Rudi Williams finished with 13 to lead the Golden Norse. Kalil Camara pulled down a game-leading 11 rebounds to go with his eight points and Jadan Graves also ended up with eight points for NEO.
Murray State led most of the game, but NEO did take a 51-47 lead after two Williams free shots with 4:35 remaining. But the Aggies responded with a Plumley floater and a Thomas 3-pointer to put Murray State back on top, 52-51, with 3:19 to go. Williams then hit the first of two free-throw tries to tie it up at 52.
But Plumley answered again with another 3-pointer as the Aggies stayed on top for good. Graves got a steal and layup with 52 seconds left to get the Golden Norse within 55-54. But outside of a free throw with 2.9 seconds to go, NEO was unable to get over the hump.
Plumley helped ice the game with two charity tosses with 4.5 seconds remaining and Thomas nailed the second of two attempts with 2.1 seconds to go for the Aggies.