Enid News and Eagle
SEMINOLE, Okla. —
The No. 21-ranked Northern Oklahoma College Enid Lady Jets finished with a 18-0 flourish to beat Seminole State 74-51 and break a two-game losing streak.
The Jets completed the sweep, beating the Trojans 75-64 behind 22 points from Dalen Qualls, 21 from Jeremy Espinoza and 13 from Connor Brooks. The win raised NOC Enid’s record to 7-5 in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference and 17-7 overall.
Chelsea Bates had a season-high 19 points to lead a well-balanced attack for the Lady Jets, now 9-3 in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference and 17-7 overall.
Bates was joined in double figures by Rylie Swanson, who matched her season- high 16 points, Christa Beasler with 15 and Marisha Wallace with 11.
“We got back in our rhythm,’’ said a happy NOC Enid coach Scott Morris. “This is what we had the potential to do all season. We worked the last two days in practice to get each other in position to set up each other for their stre-ngths.’’
Bates, Beasler and Swanson were in double figures together for the third time this season. Paige Eaton had all seven of her points in the first half.
“When we get those four all in the mix, we’re going to be tough to stop,’’ Morris said.
Wallace, who was in foul trouble much of the game, scored all of her points in the final 8:33 of the contest.
The Belles (10-11, 4-7) had cut the lead to 56-51 after a free throw by Jordan Williams with approximately five minutes to play.
Seminole would not score the rest of the game. They had five turnovers in the game’s final minutes. Wallace had eight points in the spree and caused several turnovers on defense.
“Our defense was solid tonight, but it was our offense that allowed us to separate,’’ Morris said.
The Lady Jets broke an 12-12 tie with a 10-0 midway through the first half capped by a Bates basket. The closest the Belles could get after that was 27-24 with 1:35 left, but NOC Enid capped off the half with a 6-0 run, with Bates scoring at the buzzer.
Every time Seminole made a run in the second half, the Lady Jets answered back. The closest the Belles would get was 40-36 after a field goal by Cherrell Price.
Beasler scored five and Bates three in an 8-0 NOC Enid run that put the Lady Jets up 48-36. The Belles outscored NOC Enid 15-3 to move within five 56-51 when the Lady Jets took charge.
NOC ENID 75, SEMINOLE 64
Qualls had 16 of his 22 points in the second half as the Jets were able to pull away in the last 10 minutes. The win gave NOC Enid its second road sweep in conference.
Qualls had five points in a 9-0 NOC Enid run that broke a 55-55 deadlock and gave the Jets a 64-55 lead with 6:22 remaining.
The Trojans couldn’t get any closer than six points (64-58) the rest of the game.
“We did play well,’’ said Jets assistant coach Ryan Mahoney. “There’s nothing like a conference win on the road. Our energy level was good. We had a couple of lulls in the first half, but we played better than we have been playing in the second half. When you hold somebody to 64 points, it gives you a chance to win, especially on the road.’’
Espinoza had 16 points in the first half to give NOC Enid a 42-36 halftime lead.
“Those guys (Qualls, Espinoza and Brooks) are taking the shots they need to be taking,’’ Mahoney said. “When they’re hitting, it’s good for us.’’
The first 20 minutes resembled a roller coaster, with the Jets being up by as many as 12 (23-11), only to see the Trojans use a 11-0 run to go up 34-33. NOC Enid, though, had a 9-2 run at the end of the half to lead by six.
Mahoney said the Jets bench — especially John Lazenby and DeShawn Dean — gave NOC Enid “good minutes.’’
The NOC Enid men and women will be back in action Thursday when they visit arch-rival NOC Tonkawa.