SEMINOLE — Tenacious defense in the second half rallied the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Golden Norsemen to a 59-52 victory over Seminole State College here Thursday, Feb. 8.

Prior to starting a three-game homestand Monday against Eastern State College, the Golden Norse are tied with the Seminole Trojans for third place in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Both teams are 6-5 in league play while the Norsemen are 15-8 overall. The Trojans are 17-7 on the year.

With the victory, the Golden Norsemen completed the sweep of the two-game series against the Trojans. NEO won 76-73 on Jan. 8 in the NEO Field House.

"We were behind most of the game," Golden Norse head coach Dustin Grover said. "Our defense was solid the entire night and kept them close so we could close them out in the final five minutes."

Seminole received six points each by Garrett Thibodeaux, Darnell Butler and Carlos Slaughter, along with a 3-pointer by Cameron Kennedy and layups from Marcus Blackwell and Russell Baker, to carry a 25-24 lead to the halftime intermission.

Trailing 45-40 with 5:28 remaining in the game, NEO freshman guard Ravel Moody connected on two consecutive field goals for a 45-44 deficit at the 5-minute mark.

After the Trojans received a 3-pointer from Butler, Golden Norse guard David Thornton canned two treys to give NEO a 50-48 margin with 2:56 left on the clock.

Over the final two minutes Kyle Lukasiewicz hit two 3-pointers and Thornton added a put back to keep NEO ahead.

"Our defense has been solid all season, we've just got to continue to be more consistent on offense," Grover said. "We are four-out-six against the top three teams (Connors State, Northern-Tonkawa and Seminole) in the conference, but we're not playing well against the teams at the bottom."

Lukasiewicz scored 16 points to lead the Golden Norsemen in scoring.

Butler paced the Trojans with 13 points, Slaughter 11 and Thibodeaux 10 points.


The Golden Norsemen remain at home on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. contest with Western State College.