MIAMI — Fresh off winning their fourth consecutive Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship, the No. 10 ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College conclude the regular season at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Redlands College in the NEO Field House.
Immediately following the women’s game, six sophomore members of the Lady Norse and four Golden Norsemen sophomores will be honored as part of Sophomore Recognition Night.
Also during that time frame, a member of the Lady Norse will be the recipient of the ninth annual Dixie Woodall Inspirational Award.
Woodall came to NEO in 1958 and has since compiled impressive credentials as a player and later as a women’s basketball coach. Among her accomplishments as a player, Woodall was voted most valuable player of the Okmulgee All-Indian Tournament, a three-time AAU all-American in 1964, 1966, and 1967, and earned a silver medal as a member of the 1967 U.S.A. squad at the Pan-American Games.
As a coach, Woodall amassed a combined record of 390–97 in 14 seasons as head coach at Seminole Junior College and Oral Roberts University.
While coaching at Seminole in 1976, Woodall captured a Women’s Division I National Junior College Athletic Association national championship.
One year later, she was the assistant coach of the USA team at the 1977 World University Games in Bulgaria, where the United States claimed the silver medal.
Woodall was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 1988 and the National Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005. Woodall has also been inducted into the NEO Athletic Hall of Fame and was honored as an NEO Outstanding Alumni.
Winners of eight in a row, the four consecutive time conference champions are 14-1 in the league and 24-2 on the season. The Lady Norse have the No. 1 seed for the quarterfinal round next Thursday of the Women’s Division 1 Region II Tournament in Shawnee’s Don Sumner Field House at St. Gregory’s University.
Pairings for the 10-team single elimination tournament will be announced
Friday. The top six teams receive a bye to the quarterfinals while the No. 7, No. 8, No. 9 and No. 10 seeds will square off Monday in play-in games to determine the final two qualifiers.
When the Lady Norse traveled to El Reno on Jan. 30 to face Redlands (8-7 and 16-10), NEO constructed a 30-26 lead through the first two quarters. NEO’s offense erupted for a 54-29 spread in the final two quarters to earn an 84-55 victory.
NEO sophomore post Hatty Nawezhi scored one of her 12 double-double games against the Lady Cougars with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Veteran guards Maria Delgado and Jennah Coffman contributed 14 points each for the Lady Norse while sophomore point guard Kamry Orr added 13 points.
Lady Cougars point guard Shamika Smith led Redlands with 16 points while forward Lexis Halford contributed 10 points.
“Just because we’ve already won the conference, we’re not going to sit people out or not play our starters,” NEO head coach Jim Rowland said. “We’re going to go out and play hard.
“We’ll take a whole week off basically before we start the Region II quarterfinals,” Rowland said. “So we have to protect our home court and go out and play.”
Both of NEO’s losses — 61-56 on Nov. 2 at Highland, Kansas and — 61-59 on Jan. 26 at Murray State in Tishomingo have been on the road.
The Lady Norse are 56-1 at home since suffering a 64-61 loss to Seminole State in the final regular season game of the 2013-14 season.
“Our sophomores want to go out of here perfect winners before their home crowd,” Rowland said. “Redlands is a dribble-drive basketball team a lot like Murray State and we’ve got to be prepared for that.”