POTEAU — Dodging a bullet at the buzzer, the Northeastern A&M Golden Norsemen defeated Carl Albert State College 79-76 Monday night in the Mick Thompson Fitness Center.
While concluding a month-long seven-game road trip, coach Dustin Grover’s Golden Norse are 12-5 on the season and 4-1 in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The loss dropped coach Mike St. John’s Vikings to 1-4 in the conference and 5-10 overall.
The Golden Norsemen return home Thursday for an 8 p.m. OCAC clash with Murray State College.
With time running out on the game clock and the Vikings trailing by three points, Vikings guard Kidani Brutus crossed the half-court line and fired up a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded. The ball went off the front of the rim giving NEO the win.
During the second half, the Norsemen built a nine-point lead at 69-60 with less than five minutes showing on the clock on six points each by Andre Coimbra, Phil Martin and Jamell Cormier.
Two straight 3-point field goals by Carl Albert’s Skip Johnson rallied the Vikings to a 69-66 deficit with 4:02 left on the clock.
“We missed quite a few free throws over the next couple of minutes,” Grover said. “That let them hang around until the end.”
The lead changed hands seven times during the first half before a 3-pointer by Scott Forrest enabled NEO to carry a slim 40-38 to the locker room at halftime.
Martin continued his scoring assault to lead the Golden Norsemen with 24 total points while Coimbra added 18 and Cormier hit 16.
Johnson canned seven 3-pointers to lead the Vikings with 25 total points. Jaron Jones chipped in 22 while Troynell Adams sank 16.
Carl Albert outscored NEO by a 10-3 margin from 3-point range. The Vikings sank 16 of 19 free throws while the Norsemen struggled with 18 of 28 at the charity stripe.
Coimbra grabbed 12 rebounds as the Golden Norse held a 36-28 advantage on the boards. Jones and Andy Garcia each collected six rebounds to lead the Vikings.
NEO’s bench outscored Carl Albert by an 11-0 margin.