Outscoring archrival Coffeyville Community College 10-3 in the final two minutes, Northeastern A&M's Golden Norsemen upset the third-ranked Red Ravens 79-74, Tuesday night, in the NEO Student Activities Center.
With the victory coach Darin Grover's Golden Norse are 2-0 on the young season while coach Jay Herkelman's Ravens are 1-1 on the year.
The Norsemen travel to West Plains, Mo., Thursday, for the three-day Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Classic.
NEO faces Mid-America University JV at 5 p.m. Thursday before battling Independence (Kan.) Community College at 5 p.m. on Friday.
The Norse square off against the MSU-West Plains Grizzlies at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“Fans saw an unbelievable basketball game between two teams that battled and competed hard for 40 minutes,” Grover said. “It was back-and-forth all night and fortunately we came out on top when the final buzzer sounded.
“I think people saw about 40 percent of how good we could be as a basketball team,” Grover said. “We only shot 38 percent (27 of 71) from the field and only 22 percent (4 of 18) from 3-point range. So we played that badly against a very good Coffeyville team and we still won.”
Trailing 71-69 after a pair of free throws by Coffeyville point-guard J.J. Seymore, the Golden Norsemen received two free throws by sophomore Dominique Gaines to tie the score at 71-71 with 1:33 left on the clock.
A short jump shot by veteran guard Reggie Mathis and back-to-back layups following steals by freshman guard Brent Leduff boosted the Golden Norse to a 76-71 lead with 37 seconds remaining in the game.
Gaines sank three of four free throw attempts sandwiched around a 3-point field goal by Red Raven forward Daniel Payne in the final 30 seconds to seal NEO's victory.
“This game was encouraging because it was against a highly-ranked basketball team,” Grover said. “But we know there are still a lot of areas where we need to improve.”
During the first three minutes of the opening half, the Golden Norsemen grabbed a 10-3 lead on consecutive 3-pointers by mathis and Leduff and four points by sophomore center Tulio Cobos inside the paint.
Coffeyville responded with a 3-pointer by Antoine Branch and baskets by Payne and Antwone Snead, along with solo free throws by Branch and Terrance Hill, to forge a 12-12 tie with 11:07 left in the first half.
Four points by freshman Sam Brown, along with field goals by Leduff and Lionel Green and two free throws by Chase Elliott, propelled NEO to a 22-17 margin at the nine minute mark.
Over the next four minutes, the lead changed hands six times before a layup by Green gave the Golden Norse a 29-28 margin at the 5:41 juncture.
Three-point field goals by Payne and Hill, along with two regular field goals by Snead, lifted the Ravens to a 38-29 cushion with 3:44 until halftime.
Fives points from Gaines coming off the bench, along with three points by Kenneth Clayton, rallied NEO to a 38-37 deficit with 1:06 before half.
Rees and Rosario contributed 15 points each and Haley added 11.
The Lady Norse sank 30 of 62, including only 4 of 21 from the 3-point arch, for 48 percent from the field and 12 of 17 for 71 percent at the free throw line.
Lowe tallied 17 points to lead Coffeyville while Scott scored 14 and Royland added 12 points.
Coffeyville connected on 23 of 70, including 9 of 30 from 3-point range, for 33 percent from the field. The Lady Ravens hit 18 of 22 for 82 percent at the free throw line.
Fraley and Rees each had 10 rebounds to give the Lady Norse a slim 43-42 edge on the boards.
Lowe and Scott collected seven rebounds each to lead the Lady Ravens.
Northeastern A&M 76,
Coffeyville - Lowe 5-8 5-5 17, Scott 5-12 2-2 14, Royland 4-7 4-5 12, Cox 3-9 0-0 8, Ward 2-13 0-0 6, Gordon 1-3 2-2 4, Cooper 1-2 2-2 4, Green 1-4 1-2 3, Echols 1-7 0-0 3, Nitcher 0-2 2-4 2. Totals 23-70 18-22 73.
Northeastern A&M - Fraley 6-10 7-8 21, Rees 7-11 1-2 15, Rosario 7-8 1-2 15, Haley 5-14 0-1 11, Markham 3-8 1-2 7, Hedgecourt 1-4 2-2 4, Bassett 1-3 0-0 3, Thompson 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 30-62 12-17 76.
Halftime - NEO 42, Coffeyville 30. 3-point goals - Coffeyville 9-30 (Scott 2-7, Gordon 2-6, Ward 2-6, Lowe 2-4, Echols 1-4, Royland 0-2, Green 0-1), NEO 4-21 (Fraley 2-4, Haley 1-7, Bassett 1-3, Markham 0-1, Rees 0-1, Thompson 0-2, Hedgecourt 0-3). Rebounds - Coffeyville 42 (Lowe, Scott), NEO 43 (Fraley 10, Rees 10). Assists