The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

December 5, 2012

NOC Enid makes well-rested return

ENID, Okla. — A nine-day break has been beneficial to the injury-riddled Northern Oklahoma College Enid women’s basketball team going into tonight’s Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader with Seminole State at the Mabee Center.

The women will tip off at 6, followed by the men at 8.

The Lady Jets (8-5 overall and 1-1 in conference), have been off since beating Northeastern A&M, 56-52 on Nov. 27. NOC Enid had played seven games over 12 days before that.

“It wasn’t smart scheduling on my part,’’ said NOC Enid coach Scott Morris. “Hopefully, it will pay off in the long run. The break has been good for us. We have gotten our legs under us and we have been able to clean up some details on offense and defense.’’

Morris said the Lady Jets were spent both physically and emotionally. They took two of the nine days completely off.

“We have just come back with more energy,’’ he said. “We were able to re-charge our batteries and work on some things we have been able to work on.’’

Oklahoma State signee Marisha Wallace (24.5 points per game), who missed the NEO game with stomach flu, will be back tonight.

Wallace’s teammates stepped up in the NEO game with Christa Beasler (16) and Paige Eaton (13) recording season highs on offense.

“The intangibles they brought were extra significant,’’ Morris said.

Seminole is 6-5 overall and 1-1 in conference with a win over NOC Tonkawa, 69-55 and a loss to Eastern, 69-66 in overtime.

“They are very athletic and very talented,’’ Morris said. “We ought to be two of the better teams in the league.’’

NOC Enid’s men (9-3 overall and 1-1  conference) will have the challenge of trying to figure out which Seminole team (2-8, 1-1) to expect under first-year coach Ryan Quinn. Quinn wasn’t hired until school had already started.

“They have already changed this year,’’ said Jets assistant Ryan Mahoney. “They started out full-court pressing the entire game and now they are backing off and playing a 3-2 zone. They ran sets in the beginning, now they are doing ball screens on the wing. There’s a lot of different things we have to prepare for.’’

Seminole has lost four straight, including 83-60 to NOC Tonkawa. They have beaten Eastern, 77-75.

“They have some talent at the guard position,’’ Mahoney said. “They are bigger than they have been the last couple of years. Conference games are always tough. You definitely don’t want to lose a conference game at home.’’

The Jets are coming off an 84-76 overtime loss to Odessa, Texas, at the Conestoga Classic in Liberal, Kan., Saturday.

“Our sophomores are playing well and our freshmen are getting better,’’ Mahoney said. “We feel good about ourselves.’’

The Jets have four players averaging double figures — Dalen Qualls (13.6), Jeremy Espinoza and Connor Brooks (13.3) and Kyndall Dudley (11.0). Philip Brown, the other starter, is averaging 6.3 points per game.

Ben Berry, who transferred to NOC Enid from USAO only to have broken his foot twice, is scheduled to see a doctor Dec. 14 to see if he can be released to play the second semester, Mahoney said.

The NOC Enid cagers will visit Cowley County (Kan.) Community College Saturday.

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