By Dave Ruthenberg, Sports Editor
Enid News and Eagle
MIDLAND, Texas — —
Marisha Wallace scored 18 points in only 19 minutes, but it wasn’t enough as Northern Oklahoma College Enid Lady Jets lost 79-65 to the host Lady Chaps Saturday in the consolation championship game of the Midland College National Invitation Tourn-ament.
NOC Enid dropped two out of three games at
the tournament, defeating College of Southern Idaho 76-61 Friday after opening with a 70-63 loss to Odessa College (Texas) in the first round on Thursday.
“This tournament was just loaded with ranked teams nationwide,” said NOC Enid head coach Scott Morris. “This (Saturday’s game against Midland College) was a good matchup between two evenly matched teams. We struggled to score though, and got behind a bit.”
The Lady Chaps hit five three pointers in the first half, while NOC Enid struggled beyond the arc, hitting only one shot, falling behind 39-28 by intermission.
NOC Enid pulled to within two points in the second half, but was forced to foul down the stretch and Midland College pulled away at the free throw line for its 79-65 victory.
“This was like a heavyweight bout,” Morris said. “We played 30 minutes of good, intense basketball, but needed to put a full game together.
“Marisha played well in the middle, but got into early foul trouble and only played 19 minutes. She is actually averaging more points than minutes.”
The Lady Jets (5-4) struggled from the perimeter and Morris said he hopes the return of injured freshman three-point specialist Kati Sullivan for Monday’s conference opener at Redlands will provide the outside shooting the team has missed.
The Lady Jets entered the tournament short-handed with five scholarship players out due to injury.
“No coach wants to go 1-2 in the tournament,” Morris said. “But the whole point was to get ready for conference play. We took some lumps and we responded. Every team here was athletic and well-coached and it won’t be a surprise to see these teams in the national tournament. Overall, I was pleased with our effort.”
NOTES: Wallace, who committed to Oklahoma State earlier this week, was named to the All-Tournament team.