Seven sophomores will receive special recognition Thursday as the Northeastern A&M Golden Norsemen conclude the regular season by hosting the Seminole State College Trojans at 8 p.m. in the NEO Fieldhouse.
After dropping a 75-62 decision to fifth ranked Eastern State College on Monday in Miami, coach Dustin Grover’s Golden Norse are seventh in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 7-12 and 12-17 overall.
Because the Norsemen did not finish as one of the top five teams in the OCAC, NEO will host a first round game of the Men’s Division I Region II Tournament Monday at 7 p.m. in the NEO Fieldhouse against the 10th seed Carl Albert State College Vikings.
"Even though we haven’t played well in the last six or seven games, both the Seminole and the Carl Albert games are quite winnable for us," Grover said. "Last year we had to go on the road and makeup a game with Carl Albert in Poteau and that victory started a winning streak that took us all the way to the Region II finals."
Last season the sixth seeded Norsemen eliminated the 11th seeded Arkansas Baptist College Buffaloes 77-72 in the first round of the tournament before a partisan crowd in the NEO Fieldhouse.
With a victory, the Norse advance to the regional quarterfinals Friday, March 9 in the Oklahoma Baptist University Noble Complex in Shawnee.
Veteran coach Dr. Thomas Mills has guided the Seminole Trojans to a 6-11 record in the OCAC and a 8-19 on the year. The first round game for the Region II Tournament will be held Monday at 7 p.m. in Seminole’s Raymond C. Harber gymnasium when the eighth seed Trojans face the ninth seed Western Oklahoma State College Pioneers.
The Trojans grabbed an 85-83 win on Monday against Redlands Community College in Seminole. Darius Darius Bryson led the Trojans with 19 points and Kyle Hart added 15 points and Chase Mangold contributed 14 points.
"We’re in a situation where we’ve got to find a way to start playing well," Grover said. "Monday’s loss to Eastern was no different from our last few games in that we played good in spurts and then let the game get away.
"At this point in the season if you can get on a run, anything can happen," Grover said. "We proved that last year and so our sophomores understand what it takes."