The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

January 14, 2013

Men's miracle finish gives Jets sweep of Western

ALTUS, Okla. — Dalen Qualls’ rare four-point play with two seconds left gave the Northern Oklahoma College Enid men a miracle 67-66 win over Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Western Oklahoma Monday.

Kati Sullivan scored 19 points, all in the first half to lead the co-OCAC leading Lady Jets (13-5, 5-1) to a 84-46 rout of the Lady Pioneers.

The Jets, 14-4 overall and 4-2 in conference, came back from a 64-59 deficit in the last minute.

D’Audrio Patton gave the Jets an opportunity when he missed the second of two free throws with 18.1 seconds left to keep NOC Enid within three (66-63).

Marquavius Williams missed a trey, but Connor Brooks tipped the ball to John Lazenby. Lazenby took one dribble at the top of the key, faked a shot and passed it to Qualls.

Qualls got one defender up with a fake and was fouled on the shot when the second flew at him.

The three tied the game, and Qualls’ free throw would give the Jets the win.

“I don’t know if you would call that luck or not,’’ said Jets assistant coach Ryan Mahoney. “We made the plays down the stretch. Dalen had to shot the shot and make the free throw. I wouldn’t call it luck. I would call it seizing the opportunity.’’

Williams had cut the lead to 64-61 by scoring off a steal.

The game had been tied at 59-59. The Pioneers scored five straight points to go up 64-59 before the comeback.

“It doesn’t matter how you win,’’ Mahoney said. “You take them any way you can get them, especially on the road.’’

Qualls had hit two free throws to make it 65-63 before Patton hit the first of two free throws to give Western the 66-3 lead.

Jeremy Espinoza, the Jets’ leading scorer, fouled out with five minutes remaining. Qualls had 17, Espinoza 15 and David Lewis 12, the second time he’s been in double-figures this season.

“We had to go with a different lineup today,’’ Mahoney said. “Everyone who was in there contributed. Philip Brown had five or six real key blocks. We just have to put it together for 40 minutes.’’

Neither team could get up more than five minutes in the foul-ridden game. NOC Enid led 32-30 at halftime. The Jets used a 9-0 run to go up 30-25 late in the half.

LADY JETS 84, WESTERN 46

Sullivan hit five of eight from three-point range as the NOC Enid women won their eighth-straight contest despite leading scorer Marisha Wallace sitting out the game because of a curfew violation.

Sullivan was joined in double figures by Christa Beasler with 14 and Shannon Hough and Chelsea Bates with 11.

“Everybody came in and gave us a lift,’’ said NOC Enid coach Scott Morris. “We played real well.’’

The Lady Jets were 10 of 16 from long distance. Morris attributed that to NOC Enid being able to break Western’s pressure defense.

“That weaken up the backside defense,’’ he said. “We did a good job of getting good looks. Kati has really found the groove.’’

The Lady Jets broke open the game with  21-3 run which boosted a 17-7 lead to 38-10,.

“The girls came out ready to play,’’ Morris said. “I challenged them. This is a tough place to come in and play. I was proud of them, how they battled from the start.’’

Ten different players scored for the Lady Jets, who topped the 80-point mark for the fifth time this season.

“It was a lot of fun,’’ Morris said. “Rani Melvin gave us a big lift off the bench again.’’

Wallace is expected to be back in the lineup Thursday when NOC Enid hosts Connors.

“We just had to take care of matters,’’ said Morris about Wallace’s one-game suspension. “She has a good attitude. She’s going to respond and better off as a result.’’

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