The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 6, 2014

Jets rally to win, women fall


Enid News and Eagle

WILBURTON, Okla. — Ben Berry scored 26 of his 28 points in the second half as the Northern Oklahoma College Enid men overcame a 12-point deficit in the last eight minutes to beat Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Eastern Oklahoma 99-91 Thursday.

Eastern’s women (20-3, 11-1) ended the Lady Jets’ (14-9, 7-6) four-game winning streak 81-74 behind 20 points from Kaya Johnson. Kiara Moore and Kori Barrios each had 17 points for NOC Enid.

The Jets (17-6, 8-5) outscored the Mountaineers (17-6, 6-5) 32-12 in the last eight minutes after falling behind 79-67. Eastern had overcome a 58-49 deficit with a 20-3 run.

“It was a great win,’’ said Jets assistant coach Drew Bridges. “We showed a lot of resolve. Quite honestly, it was just believing in ourselves. We got down on the scoreboard, but never in our minds. We have grown up a lot.’’

The Jets hit eight free throws in the final 1:03 after Eastern cut the lead to 91-88.

Berry had 11 of his team’s last 22 points.

“He had a monster second half,’’ Bridge said. “He’s the oldest guy on our team. He’s the guy that we look to when things get tough.’’

Berry was joined in double figures by  Ja’Wan Smith with 19 and Corey Alpaugh with 17. Alpaugh gave the Jets the lead for good at 83-82.

Jovan Crnic made six-of-six free throws in the final 2:42. Berry and Williams hit two free throws apiece in he final 40 seconds.

“Free throws win games and they lose games,’’ Bridges said. “They won games tonight. I’m really proud of our guys that they didn’t back down, even when it got tough.’’

The game had 13 ties and 14 lead changes. The teams were tied 39-39 at halftime.

EASTERN 81,

 LADY JETS 74

The Lady Jets, a 96-69 loser to the Lady Mountaineers on Dec. 5, were in the game until the end, despite Eastern starting the game with a 7-0 and a 16-6 run.

The Lady Jets committed 22 turnovers, 14 of which came in the second half. Most of those came in the early minutes as Eastern scored 16 of the game’s first 22 points.

“We played hard, but we made a lot of mistakes,’’ said Lady Jets head coach Scott Morris. “We feel good about the fact we’re starting to raise the standards of expectations, but we made too many unforced errors.

“It was a winable game. We had an opportunity to beat a good team on their home court, but we didn’t execute the little things we needed to.’’

Breck Clark (16) and Tierra Coffey (14) joined Moore and Barrios in double figures.

NOC Enid tied the game 34-34 at halftime on a three-pointer by Barrios with four seconds left and went up 50-49 after Moore scored off a turnover midway through the second half. The Lady Jets, though, went cold as the Lady Mountaineers used a 12-1 run to take a 10-point advantage after two free throws by De’Amber Brice, who had 14 of her 18 points after intermission.

NOC Enid fought back to cut the lead to 76-72 after Barrios nailed a three-poiner.

However, Olivia Brown hit two free throws to put the lead back up to six. Moore went coast-to-coast for a layup to make it 78-74, but Adriane Davis hit the second of two free throws to seconds left. After a Lady Jets turnover with 21 seconds left, Brice put the final nail in the coffin with two free throws with eight seconds left.

Clark had “two or three shots go in and out’’ toward the end of the game.

“Little breaks like that make a difference,’’ Morris said. “We put ourselves in a position to make our own breaks, but we didn’t do it.’’

NOC Enid hosts Murray State Monday night at the Mabee Center.