COFFEYVILLE, Kan. — Sophomore shooting guard Phil Martin continued his torrid scoring pace with another 35-point production to carry the Northeastern A&M Golden Norsemen to a 95-92 victory in triple overtime Saturday evening over Independence (Kan.) Community College in the second round of the Coffeyville Resources Jayhawk Shoot-Out.
While sweeping both games in the Shoot-Out, coach Dustin Grover’s Golden Norse are 11-5 on the season. The loss dropped the Pirates to 9-4 on the year.
“We’ve been on the road for a month and for us to battle the way we did against Allen County (Kan.) on Friday and Independence on Saturday, it shows the character of our team,” Grover said. “Then, we turn around today and go to Poteau for a very important conference game.”
The Golden Norsemen are 3-1 in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Association entering Monday’s 8 p.m. clash with Carl Albert State College in the Mick Thompson Fitness Center.
“Carl Albert is a very talented basketball team and coach (Mike) St. John does a good job coaching,” Grover said. “But, they haven’t been playing well and don’t seem to have their team identity established.”
The Vikings are 5-9 on the season and 1-3 in the OCAC. The Vikings lost 66-62 on Jan. 4 at Arkansas City (Kan.) Community College.
Last season the Vikings finished third in the Eastern Division of the now-defunct Bi-State Athletic Conference with a 4-4 record. The Vikings were eliminated in the Region II Tournament semifinals 83-75 by Connors State to finish 12-19 overall.
“This will be a very difficult game because it’s tough to win in their gym,” Grover said. “They may not be playing well, but they have some athletes and we’ll have to come ready to play.”
While the Vikings feature five sophomores and four players scoring in double figures, they don’t have a lot of size or depth.
Starting at guards for the Vikings are freshman Eric Dunlap along with sophomores Kidani Brutus and Chris Holmes.
Dunlap (5-8 of LaGrange, Ky.) leads the Viking with 34 assists while making eight steals and averaging 4.9 points per game.
Brutus (6-1 of the Bronx, N.Y.) is averaging nine points with 27 assists and nine steals.
Holmes (6-4 of Jacksonville, Fla.) has a 15.1 scoring average with 24 assists and 19 steals.
Sophomores Jaron Jones and Andy Garcia start in the blocks for the Vikings.
Jones (6-5 of Lexington, Ky.) leads Carl Albert in scoring with a 16.4 mark while grabbing 4.7 rebounds per game.
Garcia (6-7 of the Bronx, N.Y.) has a 12.5 scoring average while leading the team with an 11.8 rebounding mark.
During Saturday’s confrontation with the Independence Pirates in Coffeyville, Martin (6-4 of Staten Island, N.Y.) rallied the Golden Norse from a 60-56 deficit with less than 30 seconds left in regulation play by scoring on two layups to send the game into the first overtime.
Both teams scored 11 points in the first five-minute extra period before scoring 10 points each in the second overtime.
With NEO clinging to a 95-92 lead as time dwindled down in the third overtime, Pirate guard Anthony Downing misfired on a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to end the game.
Martin scored 70 points in two games in the Jayhawk Shoot-Out and is averaging 25.5 points in NEO’s first four games since the Christmas break.
Despite fouling out, Jamell Cormier added 15 points for NEO.
With five players scoring in double figures, Derrick Washington led the Pirates with 24 points. Karron McKenzie added 15, Downing 14, Jaurrice Magg-Downing 11 and Bobby Jones had 10.