EL RENO ó Unable to overcome a 12-point halftime deficit, Northeastern A&Mís Golden Norsemen suffered an 83-79 loss Monday night to the Redlands College Cougars in the Cougar Fieldhouse.
While dropping their second straight Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference game, coach Dustin Groverís Norsemen are 5-4 in the league and 13-8 on the season. NEO returns home Thursday for an 8 p.m. OCAC rematch with Seminole State College.
First-year head coach Yaphett King has guided the Redlands Cougars to a 5-4 conference record and an 11-8 overall mark.
During the first half, the Cougars received 12 points from forward Dwayne Davis and 10 points each from Antonio Cooper, Blake Allen and Kevin Rolland, along with a layup by Erik Allen, to construct a 44-32 lead at intermission.
Aided by four 3-pointers by Scott Forrest and two treys and three free throws by Phil Martin, along with six points each by Jamell Cormier, Will Fonseca and Andrea Coimbra, the Golden Norse closed the gap to 75-71 with less than three minutes left in the game.
But, over the final two minutes Cooper and Davis combined for a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line to hold NEO at bay.
Forrest was one of five Golden Norsemen to score in double figures with 18 points while Coimbra scored 14, Martin 14, Cormier 13 and Fonseca 12.
Davis tallied 26 total points to lead all scorers while Allen contributed 19, Cooper 14 and Rolland 14.
Cooper grabbed 10 rebounds to give the Cougars a slight 30-29 edge on the boards. Martin led the Golden Norse with nine rebounds.