EL RENO — Sharing third place in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College squares off at 7:30 p.m. Monday with Redlands Community College in the Cougar Field House.
After earning a 67-52 victory last Thursday at Murray State College in Tishomingo, the Golden Norsemen and Seminole State College are both 4-3 in the OCAC. While Seminole is 14-4 on the year, NEO has a 12-8 regular season record.
“We’re making small progress as a team as the season progresses,” Golden Norseman head coach Dustin Grover said. “There are still some things that we expect to come around as we begin our return trip through the conference starting on Thursday with Connors State here.”
Entering his fourth year as head coach, Earnest Chumbley has directed the Redlands Cougars to a 1-6 mark in the conference and a 12-6 overall record. Last Thursday the Cougars cruised to a 96-72 win over Eastern State College in El Reno.
“This will be our last game in the first time through the conference against a very average Redlands team,” Grover said. “Even though they blew out Eastern, they don’t seem to have any above-average players.”
Last season, the Cougars struggled to a 2-16 OCAC record and a 10-21 overall mark.
NEO won both of the regular season games with an 85-62 victory in Miami and an 82-67 win in El Reno.
“We’ll be making our second consecutive long road trip during a four-day period,” Grover said. “But, I think we’ll be alright both mentally and physically because we have the weekend to recuperate and after taking off Saturday, I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Averaging 88.7 points per game on offense, the Cougars are led by freshman guard Isaiah Hammons (6-3) with a 16.1 scoring average while grabbing 4.9 rebounds per game. Hammons also leads the team with 74 assists and 36 steals.
Sophomore power forward Britt Hammons (6-6) leads Redlands with a 6.9 rebounding mark while scoring 14.8 points per game.
Freshman point guard Eric Marbury (5-11) averages 9.7 points per game with 53 assists and 29 steals.
Veteran center Spencer Lindsey (6-9) leads the team with 17 blocked shots while scoring 8.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
NEO returns home next Thursday, Feb. 2, for a conference rematch starting with the women’s game at 5:30 p.m. against arch rival Connors State College.