BRANSON, Mo. — Poor shooting from the field continues to plague Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College as the Golden Norsemen suffered a 66-50 loss Friday night to Link Year Prep at the Lions’ Field House.
Snapping a modest two-game winning streak, the Golden Norse (7-7) conclude the fall portion of the schedule the same way they began it — with a loss to Link Year Prep.
The Lions (10-6) posted a 70-69 victory on Nov. 2 over the Norsemen in the NEO Field House.
“Our kids have no confidence right now in their ability to score, either from the perimeter or inside in the paint,” Golden Norse head coach Dustin Grover said. “You can’t beat anyone just shooting 28 percent from the field.
“With us being so young, we probably screwed them down pretty tight in preseason as to what we were trying to do offensively,” Grover said. “But I also think the way we’re playing right now has to do with the collection of players we have right now and their attitude towards each other is getting better.”
Much like they did in the first game, the Lions used a strong perimeter game along with sporadic scoring inside paint to construct a 31-20 lead through the first 20 minutes.
Because of the numerous missed shots early around the basket, the Golden Norse fell behind by a 21-11 at the 6-minute mark of the opening half.
The Lions maintained an 11-point margin at halftime on 3-point field goals by Brandon Battle, Hayden Koval and Matthew Mondesir.
“These next three practices before everybody leaves for Christmas we’re going to have some real competitive practices,” Grover said. “I think we really need to look at how we put combinations together and find some players that can compliment each other and play together without jeopardizing who we are on defense.”
Curhone Baldwin tallied 20 points to lead the Norsemen in scoring while Kingsley Sam contributed nine points, Jalyn McKoy, Xavier Miller and Morris Talbert five each, Pedron Lopes four and Arkel Williams two.
The Golden Norsemen hit only 13 of 46, including 4 of 13 from 3-point range, for 28 percent from the field and 6 of 14 for 43 percent at the free throw line.
Rylan Bergersen led the Lions with 24 points. Densler Carnes added 15.
NEO returns to the hardwoods for practice on Jan. 3. The Golden Norse host Labette Community College at 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 7 in the NEO Field House.