By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
TISHOMINGO — Tim Smallwood scored 22 points as Murray State denied Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s bid to clinch a tie for second in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference, 84-76 Monday.
In the women’s game, Chelsea Bates scored a season-high 26 points as the No. 9-ranked Lady Jets (25-3, 16-1) defeated Murray State, 68-61.
The Jets, with the loss, dropped to 11-6 in conference and 19-9 overall. Connors, with a win over Western Monday, would move into a second-place tie with NOC Enid.
The Jets end their season at home against cellar dwelling Carl Albert Thursday. Connors plays league leader Eastern.
Dustin Qualls led the Jets attack with 17 points while Kyndall Dudley had 14. The Aggies hit a three-pointer with 50 seconds left to go up 80-74.
“The guys played with a lot of heart and energy,’’ said Jets assistant Ryan Mahoney. “We just didn’t have the greatest execution in the end. If we had made a shot or two more, and didn’t turn the ball over here and there down the stretch, we would have been up with a chance to win. We need to tighten up our execution down the stretch, which is easily fixable.’’
Xavier McClish, the Jets’ leading scorer, had a season-low four points. Ten players scored for the Jets.
“He did a lot more passing and facilitating,’’ Mahoney said. “He didn’t have to score as much because the others were open.’’
NOC ENID 68, MURRAY ST. 61 (W)
The Lady Jets played most of the game without standout center Marisha Wallace, who had the flu. NOC Enid led 34-26 at halftime.
Backups Krystal Fowler and Tori Dwyer both “stepped up and gave us a good lift,’’ said NOC Enid coach Scott Morris.
But the star of the game was Bates, who was appearing in just her second game after missing four games with a concussion.
“Chelsea was really in the flow of the game,’’ Morris said. “She got the ball to people where we really needed it. She just gets to the basket so easy. We spread the floor and she can go by anybody. She found her rhythm.’’
Her aggressiveness not only netted her a lot of layups, but was able to draw a lot of fouls.
“She did a good job for us.’’
Bates’ previous high game was a 20-point effort against Redlands on Jan. 30.
Justice Payne and Ashlyn Briegge both had nine points.