Unable to contain sophomore forward Wayne Runnels, the Northeastern A&M Golden Norsemen suffered an 82-78 loss Wednesday night to the Northern Oklahoma College-Enid Jets at the NEO Fieldhouse.
Snapping a six-game winning streak, the loss dropped coach Dustin Grover's Norsemen to 4-2 against teams from the Bi-State West and 9-4 on the season. Coach Greg Shamburg's Jets are 10-3 on the season and 4-0 against the Bi-State East.
The Golden Norsemen travel to Coffeyville, Kan., Friday to participate in the nation's premier junior college basketball showcase the Jayhawk Shoot-Out.
The round-robin features 40 games in three days, all played on two courts under a single roof at Gilmer K. Nellis Hall on the Coffeyville Community College campus.
Twenty community colleges (all 19 members of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference plus one guest school) bring both their men's and women's teams together for the event.
The scope of the Jayhawk Shoot-Out has drawn national attention on the pages of Sports Illustrated, and attracts recruiters from as many as 200 four-year college and university programs.
The 2008 edition is being hosted by CCC for the 12th consecutive year.
The Golden Norse tipoff the Shoot-Out by facing Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College at 9 a.m. Friday.
The Norsemen conclude the Shoot-Out by playing Highland (Kan.) Community College at 11 a.m. Sunday.
The 6-6 Runnels, from Watonga, scored 20 of his game-high 28 points in the second half to lead the Jets back from a 36-30 halftime deficit.
Runnels had been sidelined by a hairline fracture on his right foot before scoring 23 points Monday night in a 92-55 win over the Southern Nazarene University JV in Enid.
Outscoring the Golden Norsemen 20-12 over an eight-minute period during the second half, the Jets grabbed a 60-58 lead.
A 10-point scoring spree by Runnels enabled the Jets to build a 72-63 cushion with 2:33 left in the game.
Six points by Phillipe Martin, along with a 3-point field goal by Scott Forrest and layups by Jamell Cormier, Raphael Brown and Chaz Davis, rallied the Norsemen to an 81-78 deficit with just five seconds left.
A free throw by Aaron Mchenry sealed the Jets victory.
During the first half, the Golden Norsemen received five straight points from center Carlos Dos Santos and a layup by Cormier to grab a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes.
Brown scored six straight points and Jamere King canned a 3-pointer, along with a layup by Chaz Davis, to give NEO an 18-11 cushion midway through the first half.
Five straight points by Mchenry and four by Runnels, along with layups by Travis Smith and Ben Smith, propelled the Jets to a 25-20 lead with 6:02 until halftime.
Another five-point flurry by Brown, along with four points each by Martin and Cormier and a 3-pointer by Forrest, allowed the Norsemen to carry a 36-30 lead into the half.
Two layups by Dos Santos boosted the Norse to a 40-30 lead in the first minute of the second half.
The Jets received two 3-pointers by Mchenry and baskets by Runnels and Jeremy Lay to create a 42-40 deficit at 14:39.
Brown led the Norsemen with 21 points while Cormier scored 17, Dos Santos 11 and Martin 10.
Along with Runnels 28 points, the Jets received 19 points each from Mchenry and Ben Smith.
Northern Oklahoma-Enid 82,
Northeastern A&M 78
NOC-Enid (10-3, 4-0)
Runnels 8-13 11-12 28, Mchenry 6-10 2-4 19, Ben Smith 7-14 5-6 19, Lay 2-8 5-6 9, Beal 1-2 1-2 3, Grant 0-3 2-2 2, Travis Smith 1-3 0-0 2, Simmons 0-0 0-2 0, Fall 0-0 0-0 0, Pietrowicz 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-54 26-33 82.
Northeastern A&M (9-4, 4-2)
Brown 6-11 9-10 21, Cormier 7-13 3-4 17, Dos Santos 5-11 1-1 11, Martin 4-8 2-3 10, Forrest 2-3 0-0 6, Ross 1-1 2-2 4, Davis 2-4 0-0 4, King 1-3 0-0 3, Coimbra 1-3 0-1 2, Elliott 0-3 0-0 0, Baker 0-0 0-0 0, Edwards 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-60 17-21 78.
Halftime NEO 36, NOC-Enid 30. 3-point goals NOC-Enid 6-20 (Mchenry 5-7, Runnels 1-2, T. Smith 0-2, Grant 0-2, B. Smith 0-3), NEO 3-8 (Forrest 2-3, King 1-1, Dos Santos 0-1, Coimbra 0-1, Cormier 0-2). Rebounds NOC-Enid 38 (B. Smith 11), NEO 28 (Cormier 5). Assists NOC-Enid 4 (Lay 3), NEO 9 (Brown 3, Cormier 3). Steals NOC-Enid 4 (Runnels 2), NEO 3 (Coimbra 2). Blocked shots NOC-=Enid 1 (Simmons), NEO 1 (Coimbra). Turnovers NOC-Enid 17, NEO 11. Total fouls NOC-Enid 19, NEO 25. Fouled out Lay, Dos Santos, Coimbra). Technical fouls Lay.