MIAMI — Closing out the fall portion of the basketball season, the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Golden Norsemen travel to Joplin Wednesday, Dec. 6, to face the Missouri Southern State University junior varsity at 6 p.m. in the Robert Ellis Young Gymnasium.
After dropping a 66-53 Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference game last Thursday at the Foster-Piper Field House on the campus of Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa (2-0 and 9-3), the Golden Norsemen are 1-1 in the league and 9-4 overall.
The Golden Norse traveled to Bartlesville on Monday, Dec. 4, for a rematch with the Oklahoma Wesleyan University junior varsity (3-5) in the Mueller Sports Center. NEO defeated the Owls, 99-59, on Nov. 9 in the NEO Field House.
“It will be good to get these junior varsity games over with,” Golden Norse head coach Dustin Grover said. “We’ve learned a lot from our young basketball team, but from here on out we’re going to be playing teams within our conference and that have specific meaning regarding post season.”
NEO slipped and fell during the first half of the game against the NOC-Tonkawa Mavericks. Playing with little enthusiasm, the Norsemen trailed 40-24 at halftime.
“I thought Northern came out and attacked the things we were trying to do,” Grover said. “We did a poor job of adjusting.
“When they took away something, I thought we didn’t put up much fight to regain it,” Grover said. “Simply put, we took some really poor shots that we didn’t hit. Plus, we took way too many jump shots and didn’t get to the foul line at all.
“Three of their five starters scored in double figures and we just didn’t contest shots,” Grover said. “But, we rallied defensively in the second half and held them to just 26 points.”
Dylan Van Eyck led the Norse with 16 points while Cedric Ward added 12, Valentin Van Putten six, Josh Humphries five, Ravel Moody and Kyle Lukasiewiz four each, Jeremiah Mooris three, David Thornton two and Tyjuan Johnson one.
“We just didn’t show enough toughness and determination down the stretch,” Grover said “We cut it to eight in the second half, but we didn’t have enough fire power to come all the way back.”
Anselm Uzuegbunem paced the Mavericks with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Trevion Lamar contributed 14 points and Amir Allen 10.
NEO held a slim 16-14 advantage on the offensive boards while the Mavs held a 29-25 edge on the defensive glass.
Ward led NEO with 10 rebounds while Austin-Johnson collected seven rebounds to lead NOC-Tonkawa.