OTTUMWA, IOWA — A killer early-season road schedule continued for the Northeastern A&M men as the dropped a pair of weekend games to Top 20 teams.
The Norse suffered a 77-74 overtime setback against No. 4 Indian Hills Friday, Nov. 15 and 71-65 against 14th ranked Southeastern (Iowa) Community College on Saturday, Nov. 15 in the Indian Hills Classic.
NEO (3-4) also has lost to No. 7 Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College, 77-74, and No. 23 Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College 71-65.
“It’s been quite the gauntlet,” Norse coach Jeremy Jackson said. “We had three of the four games where we could have had a different outcome and that shows me that we’re on the right path – but we have to learn to finish games, and we will.”
It hosts the Southwestern Christian JV on Tuesday, Nov. 19 then opens Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference play on Thursday, Nov. 21 against Seminole State College.
“Definitely no morale victories wanted or accepted here,” Jackson said. “We will keep working hard and move forward to become the best team at the end of the year.”
Indian Hills 77, NEO 74 (OT)
The Norse forced the game into overtime with a 38-32 edge in the second half, but was outscored 15-12 in overtime.
“We had our chances to pull ahead and had some minor details we have to clean up,” Jackson said. “We kept fighting and hitting shots, making plays and doing together, which I love about our team.”
Indian Hills got a clutch 3-point goal to take the lead down the stretch, but the Norse tied the score seconds later.
Rudi Williams scored 32 points and had nine assists and five rebounds for NEO.
Samkelo Cele had a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Kalil Camara added 13 points.
Alvin Cannady III had a team-high 13 rebounds, scored two points and doled out four assists.
The Norse also picked up six points from Gavin Harris, four from George Blaj-Voinescu.
“This was a hard fought game in one of the toughest environments in junior college basketball,” Jackson said.
Indian Hills (6-0) had three players in double figures.
Chris Childs tallied 24, J.D. Muila, 13, and Drake Jeffries, 12.
Southeastern 71, NEO 65
The Norse led by six late in the first half, but Southeastern rallied to grab a one-point lead at the half.
The Blackhawks stretched that to as much as nine late in the game, when they held a 39-31 edge down the stretch.
Cele had another double double for NEO, getting 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Williams scored a team-high 20 points.
The Norse also picked up nine from Franklin, seven from Cannady, six from Nikita Konstantynovskyi , five from Jadan Graves, three from Tyren Collins and two each from Harris and Ramelo Williams.
Miganeh Abdi and Diew Moses scored 17 and 13 for Southeastern.