COFFEYVILLE, Kan. - Unable to overcome a four-point halftime deficit, Northeastern A&M's Golden Norsemen suffered an 89-83 loss Tuesday night to the third-ranked Coffeyville Community College Red Ravens in Nellis Hall.
Both teams now have one loss on the season. Coach Dustin Grover's Golden Norsemen are 5-1 while coach Jay Herkelman's Ravens are 4-1 on the year.
“They built a seven-point lead with about seven minutes left in the game and then held on,” Grover said. “Both these teams are pretty equal.”
“NEO played well all night,” Herkelman said. “We hung together and played well down the stretch. Our crowd really helped us just like NEO's helped them last week when they beat us (79-74 on Nov. 6 in Miami).”
Behind a 12-point performance by veteran point guard J.J. Seymore and seven points each from Antwone Snead, Daniel Payne and Lenny Daniel, the Red Ravens constructed a 43-39 lead at halftime.
Four points each by Terrance Hill and Antonie Branch and a 3-pointer by Lucus Lumb fueled the Coffeyville first 20 minutes.
“We came out and didn't play very hard in the first half,” Grover said. “We just didn't have that emotional spark that allowed us to catch up.”
Following a 3-pointer by Seymore that gave Coffeyville a 68-59 cushion with 7:14 left on the clock, the Red Ravens staved off a late comeback by the Golden Norsemen.
Four NBA-style 3-point field goals by freshman guard Brent Leduff and three trays by veteran Dominique Gaines enabled the Norsemen to hang around, but never erase the deficit.
Gaines fouled out with four minutes left in the game to diminish the NEO offense.
“The game became a tail of two halves because we came out in the second half and played hard,” Grover said. “The problem was, we didn't play smart.”
“We had too many turnovers (16) because we were playing too fast,” Herkelman said. “But, we won the battle on the boards which gave us more scoring opportunities.”
Gaines paced the Golden Norsemen with 24 total points while Leduff added 21, Tulio Cobos 12 and Reggie Mathis 11.
Seymore led all scorers with 28 points while Daniel and Payne added 15 points each and Snead tallied 11 points.
“Overall, we were competitive, but we didn't do the little things it takes to win a close game,” Grover said. “We've got some things that we need to continue to work on.”
The Golden Norse conclude a five-game road trip Saturday with a 2 p.m. contest against the Mid-America Christian University junior varsity in Oklahoma City.
Coffeyville, Kan. 89, Northeastern A&M 83
Northeastern A&M (5-1) - Gaines 24, Leduff 21, Cobos 12, Mathis 11, Elliott 9, Clayton 6.
Coffeyville (4-1) - Seymore 28, Daniel 15, Payne 15, Snead 11, Hill 6, Branch 5, Lumb 3, Blake 3, Johnson 3.
Halftime - Coffeyville 43, NEO 39. Rebounds - NEO 34 (Cobos 9), Coffeyville 39 (Payne 5).