The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

January 17, 2013

NOC Enid splits with Connors State

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. —

CONNORS 85, NOC ENID 71 (M)

Harris hit only two free throws in the first half, but made up for it after intermission. He was eight of 12 from the field and five of six from the line.

“Coach challenged me in the locker room at halftime (with Connors leading 32-29),’’ Harris said. “He told me if you’re a high major player, you’ve got to have a high major performance. I always wanted to take on a challenge. The most important thing was that we won.’’

The Cowboys were 14 of 22 as a team from the field. They had more 3s (12) than twos (11). Josh Cameron had four treys in a 23-point performance.

“I can shoot it,’’ Harris said. “I’ve had performances like this before, but the important thing is that we retain the (OCAC) lead.’’

“They hit some big ones,’’ said NOC Enid assistant coach Ryan Mahoney. “When a guy hits seven 3s in a half, it’s difficult to stop. We’ve got to make shooters feel uncomfortable. He was in a zone tonight and we have to find a way to get him out of his zone.’’

The Jets had difficulty finding their zone, thanks to foul problems. Jeremy Espinoza, NOC Enid’s leading scorer, sat out most of the first half with three fouls and drew his fourth with 18:12 remaining. He scored only one point.

Dalen Qualls had a season-high 27 points, but Connor Brooks was the only other Jet in double figures with 13 points. The Jets were 21 of 51 from the field.

The Jets trailed only 32-29 at halftime but were outscored 53-42 in the second half.

“We had a lot of careless fouls in the first half which caused us to have to go deep into our bench,’’ Mahoney said. “It got us out of rhythm. That shouldn’t have mattered. We were down by only three at halftime. They just hit the shots.’’

Mahoney said he was pleased with the Jets’ effort.

“We battled, give our guys credit for that,’’ he said. “We didn’t quit. We were still pushing the ball up and attacking the rim to get to the foul line.’’

NOC Enid visits Murray State Monday.

“We’re only a game out of first,’’ Mahoney said. “We still have a lot of games to play. We win Monday and we’re back in the hunt.’’

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