MIAMI — To say that the 2019-2020 basketball season at Northeastern A&M has been fun is a major understatement.
The Golden Norse nailed down a share of the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference title Monday night with an 89-47 romp over Western Oklahoma State College at the NEO Field House.
The winner of 10 straight games, they can claim a second straight conference crown with win over Eastern Oklahoma State College Thursday, Feb. 27 at Wilburton.
Jackson didn’t want to let up on the clutch and fall victim in what could be a trap game.
“I don’t want to go in like an NFL team that has already clinched and doesn’t play any of their starters,” coach Jeremy Jackson said. “I want to go out and win and keep our momentum, mojo and rhythm going.”
As the conference champ, the Norse would enter the Men’s Region II Championship in Shawnee as the No. 1 seed.
The only other time NEO was able to repeat as conference champ was during the Cletus Green era, when the Norsemen claimed three straight Bi-State Conference crowns in 1968, 1969 and 1970.
“We are so honored to be a part of history and bring that tradition of NEO men’s basketball back up to where it needs to be,” coach Jeremy Jackson said.
NEO’s other conference titles came in 1957, 1960, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1989 (the national championship season), 1991, 2004 and 2007.
Prior to the Thursday finale, the Norsemen have gone 28-3 in league play the last two seasons and this was the second straight year they went unbeaten at home.
The only blemish on the conference schedule this season was against Murray and Eastern and Connors last season.
The opening minutes against Western were nip-and-tuck, but the Norse went on a run that gave them a 20-point lead at the half, 46-26.
They were up by as many as 47 points late in the game (89-42).
In his final home game, Hamilton, Ontario sophomore Rudi Williams had 22 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and five deflections while playing all but eight minutes of the game.
Sophomores Samkelo Cele and Champ Bridges also had roles in their final game at the NEO Field House.
Cele scored 11 points and pulled down 15 rebounds while Bridges contributed six points.
Freshmen Jadan Graves scored 15 (all coming on treys) and Nikita Konstantynovski and Kalil Camara had 12 points each.
Camara also grabbed 11 rebounds.
James Franklin Jr. and George Blaj-Voinescu scored eight and three points, respectively.
“We started out slow but got dialed in once Jadan came in,” Jackson said. “He is an energy maker for us. He comes in (off the bench) and brings energy; hits shots, plays defense — I can’t say enough about him.”
NEO, which shot 45% from the field, was 11 of 30 from 3-point range.
“That’s a good number for us, 36%, but that could be better,” Jackson said. “Normally we don’t take 30. Normally we try to stay under 25, but that’s good.”
Gary Mims was Western’s scoring leader with 23 points.