Northeastern A&M's Golden Norsemen return to the hardwoods Monday with an 8 p.m. game against the Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa Mavericks in the Foster-Piper Fieldhouse.
Coach Dustin Grover's Golden Norse are 8-3 on the season and 3-1 against the Western Division of the Bi-State Athletic Conference. The Norsemen defeated Redlands College 102-96 last Tuesday in the NEO Fieldhouse.
NEO concludes the home portion of the first half of the season on Thursday by hosting Northern Oklahoma College-Enid. The Lady Norse play the Lady Jets at 6 p.m. followed by the Norsemen-Jets at 8 p.m.
Prior to Saturday night's game against Three Rivers (Mo.) Community College in the Three Rivers Thanksgiving Classic, third-year head coach Brett Weiberg has guided the Northern Mavericks to a 6-4 season record and a 2-1 mark in the Bi-State. The Mavericks defeated Lakeland (Ill.) Community College 61-57 Thursday in the opening round of the Three Rivers Classic.
Indicative of the degree of difficulty of the Mavericks schedule had been the fact that they played the No. 1 and No. 2 nationally ranked teams back-to-back.
Traveling to Arkansas City, Kan. on Nov. 22, the Mavericks suffered a 69-64 loss to No. 1 ranked Cowley Community College. The Tigers held a 30-28 lead at halftime.
Two days later, the Mavericks traveled to Fort Smith, Ark., and pulled off a 57-54 upset over No. 2 ranked Arkansas-Fort Smith at the Stubblefield Center.
The Lions only led 28-24 at halftime but extended their lead to as many as nine points in the second half. The Mavericks rallied and took a 53-52 lead with under a minute left to play on a 3-pointer by Sterling Jackson.
UA-Fort Smith answered back with a stickback by sophomore Tyrone Hanson of New York, N.Y., with eight seconds left to regain a 54-53 lead.
Eight seconds was plenty of time for the Mavericks to work the ball up the floor and get it in the hands of Jackson, who launched a 3-pointer while he was being fouled by UA-Fort Smith's Tehran Cox of Nassau, Bahamas, and made it with 1.4 seconds left.
He sank the free throw to give the Mavericks a three-point lead, and that was enough as D'Angalo Jackson's desperation 3-point try was well short as the buzzer sounded.
Jackson led Tonkawa with 18 points - he was 2 of 4 from 3-point range - and Javier Nasarre chipped in 14 points. Chuck Sanders led the Mavericks with 11 rebounds. Tonkawa's 57 points were the fewest points allowed by the Lions, who held the Mavericks to just 36 percent (20 of 56) from the field.