By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s men missed the first eight shots in falling behind Cowley County (Kan.) Community College Monday night at the Mabee Center.
The slow start couldn’t overcome a furious comeback in the Jets’ 78-69 overtime loss to the Tigers. It was NOC Enid’s first loss in five tries.
The Jets never led in the men’s game, thanks to an early 10-0 deficit that saw them go scoreless for the first 5:08 of the game.
NOC Enid made up a 14-point deficit in the second-half to tie the game at 64 when Travis Carbajal made the second of two free throws with 1:20 remaining.
Cowley, which didn’t score in the last 3:13 of regulation, found its range in overtime, going three of four from the field and seven-of-seven from the line in outscoring the Jets, 14-5. NOC Enid was only two of 10 from the field and one of two from the line.
“We should never been in that position to play that bad in the first half,’’ said NOC Enid coach Greg Shamburg. “We fought back, but we missed free throws down the stretch. We had a chance to win, we just didn’t make plays. You can’t play that bad in the first half and expect to beat good teams.’’
The Jets were 11-of-35 from the field in the first half and 12-of-34 in the second half. Xavier McClish had a season-high 27 points. He had scored 14 points after intermission to lead a 32-21 NOC Enid run. Carbajal was the other Jet in double figures with 10 points.
The overtime period was tied only once after a follow shot by Brandon Burns tied the game at 66 with 3:42 left. The Tigers used a 10-2 run to take a 72-66 lead on a 3-pointer by James Milliken with 2:27 left.
Milliken led the Tigers with 20 points. Kamren Bellin had 15.
“We were off in the first half,’’ Shamburg said.
“We didn’t run our offense. We didn’t guard anybody. At least we showed signs in the second half. We just weren’t very good in the first half. We didn’t come prepared to play.’’
LADY JETS 74, COWLEY 58
Justice Payne came off the bench to score a season-high 22 points as the Lady Jets raised their record to 5-1.
Payne was seven-of-12 from the field and four-of-six from the line to give a lift to a Lady Jets offense that struggled at times.
NOC Enid committed 25 turnovers, but was 26-of-51 from the field for 51 percent and seven-of-16 from 3-point range for 43.8 percent.
“That’s two games in a row where she’s come off the bench and given us a significant spark that we needed,’’ said NOC Enid coach Scott Morris. “She did that all last season and we couldn’t be more proud of her to step up and do that again.’’
The Lady Jets broke the game open late in the first half.
Symce Murray gave Cowley its last lead, 24-22, on a field goal with 3:18 remaining.
NOC Enid responded with a 16-1 run over the next five minutes, including the first two minutes of the second half to take a 38-25 advantage after an Ashlyn Briegge field goal with 18:06 remaining.
“We shifted to a zone that slowed them down a little bit,’’ Morris said. “That was about the time we found an offensive rhythm as well. The less they’re scoring, the less they are pressing, so that helped snowball things.’’
Cowley was only 23 of 73 from the field for 31.5 percent. The Lady Tigers committed 20 turnovers.
Payne was joined in double figures by Marisha Wallace and Briegge with 13 points and Vanessa Bledsoe with 11 points.
Wallace had all of her points in the second half.
“Cowley’s style of ball forces you to kind of play ugly,’’ Morris said. “They do a great job of pressuring the ball and keeping you out of your half-court stuff so you have to find people who are tough enough just go attack it and finish strong. It took us awhile to settle in, but once they found a rhythm there, they found some consistency.’’
NOC Enid’s men and women will host Redlands Monday.