MIAMI — Along with winning their fifth straight Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference championship and 48th consecutive home game, the No. 24th ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Lady Norse earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Region II Tournament with a 65-51 victory over Northern Oklahoma College-Enid Saturday, Feb. 24 in the NEO Field House.
While closing out the home portion of the regular season with a 14-0 conference record, the Lady Norse are 22-4 overall.
The loss dropped the second place Lady Jets to 10-4 in the OCAC and 21-5 on the year.
"Our girls are very proud of what they've accomplished so far this year," Lady Norse head coach Jim Rowland said. "With it being sophomore recognition day, our sophomores really stepped up and played at a very high level.
"They understand that it's not over yet," Rowland said. "We have to play Murray State in Tishomingo on Monday and then go to El Reno on Thursday to face Redlands.
"Both of those games will be challenging and we can't afford to rest on our accomplishments," Rowland said. "We're after our fourth straight Region II crown and our team is locked into that goal."
During the first quarter against NOC-Enid, the Lady Norse constructed a 22-8 advantage on six points each by Mikayla Shulanberger, Eneritz Larranga and Megan Jackson, along with layups by Bethy Mununga and Mariam Gnanou.
The Lady Jets responded with a 16-7 advantage during the second quarter to trail 24-29 at intermission.
Six straight points by Andi Pierce, along with four points each by McKenna Pulley and Tanara Combs and a put back by Taylor Sylvester, fueled the Lady Jets rally.
"At halftime I just told our kids that we were playing great defense, but when you miss as many layups and 4-footers, that turns into a four-point swing," Rowland said. "We kind of got tired and let them back into the game and I told them that I can't control your missed layups, so we need to finish those and the score wouldn't be where it's at."
Both teams traded baskets during the third quarter with the Lady Norse maintaining a 47-40 cushion heading into the final 10 minutes. Mununga, who hit 9 of 10 from 2-point range for the game, scored eight of her game-high 21 points in the third quarter.
Despite being saddled with four personal fouls, Gnanou scored six of her eight points in the fourth quarter as NEO held an 18-11 advantage over the Lady Jets.
"I told them not to be over-energized because it was sophomore night," Rowland said. "There were a lot of things on the line and I told them to just relax and go have some fun because it was just another game."
Mununga completed another double-double for the Lady Norse with 10 rebounds while Jackson contributed 12 points while Shulanberger 11 and Larranaga added 11 each.
Gnanou had eight points and Amare Weary chipped in with two.
Pierce tallied 13 points to lead the Lady Jets while Combs added 11 and Pulley had 10.
The Lady Norse have a 5:30 p.m. game, Monday, Feb. 26 in Tishomingo before playing a 5:30 p.m. game Thursday, March 1 in El Reno to conclude the regular season.