TISHOMINGO, Okla. —
Christa Beasler had a career-high 23 points as the flu-ridden NOC Enid Lady Jets won their 10th-straight game 54-42 over Murray State in Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference basketball action Monday.
The win put NOC Enid (15-5) atop the conference at 7-1 after co-leader Northeastern A&M lost to Eastern.
NOC Enid’s men suffered their first back-to-back losses of the season, losing 74-66 to drop to 4-4 in conference and 14-6 overall.
The Lady Jets felt the effects of the flu bug with four key players ill — Marisha Wallace, Kati Sullivan, Rylie Swanson and Shannon Hough. They combined for eight points with Wallace and Sullivan having four points apiece.
However, Beasler took up the slack with 15 points in the first half and eight in the second. Paige Eaton had 12 points, while Chelsea Bates had 11.
“We were dragging around,’’ said NOC Enid coach Scott Morris. “I wasn’t for sure if we would have enough bodies to play, but we fought hard. I’m proud of them. Any conference win on the road is a good win.’’
The Lady Jets had a roller coaster first-half in building a 28-16 lead at halftime.
Murray State jumped out to a 9-0 lead as the Lady Jets were held scoreless for almost the first seven minutes of the game. NOC Enid’s first field goal came with 9:35 left in the half.
But the Lady Jets, down 14-2, closed the half with a 26-2 run, holding the Lady Aggies scoreless for the last 10 minutes of the half.
“We took a timeout with about 10 minutes left, and we got our energy back,’’ Morris said. “We went back to our team defensive concept, and that made a lot of difference. They cooled down a little, but our defense had a lot to do with that.’’
It was the third time in the last four games the Lady Jets have held an opponent to under 47 points.
Murray State cut the lead to 35-33 with 8:06 remaining, but the Lady Aggies would not get any closer, although they were within striking distance the rest of the way.
Murray State pulled to within five, 47-42, afer a field goal by LaShanda Green with just under a minute to play. However, the Lady Jets made seven free throws down the stretch — five by Eaton and two by Beasler — to wrap up the victory.
“We didn’t have any offensive rhythm most of the game, but Christa and Chelsea did a great job of handling everything,’’ Morris said.
MURRAY STATE 74, NOC ENID 66 (m)
The Aggies led by 14 points (61-47) with six minutes remaining and held off a late Jets rally to raise their record to 5-3 in conference and 8-9 overall.
NOC Enid cut the lead to 62-59 with a 12-1 run, capped by two free throws by David Lewis with just under three minutes remaining. Connor Brooks missed a 3-pointer on the next possession which would have tied the game. Murray State’s Trai Jordan, who had 16 points, put back a missed three on the Aggies’ next posession and hit a free throw to make it 65-59.
The Jets couldn’t get any closer than five after that, as the Aggies hit free throws down the stretch.
“That hurt,’’ said Jets assistant coach Ryan Mahoney about Jordan’s putback. “It was mano vs. mano and he (Jordan) wanted it more. That’s what it came down to tonight.’’
Jeremy Espinoza led NOC Enid with 20 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Dalen Qualls had 16, 10 of which came in the second half, and Brooks had 13. The Jets came back from an early 6-0 hole to lead by as many as seven (26-19) at one point in the first half. The Aggies rallied to lead 39-37 at halftime. NOC Enid managed only 10 points in the first 14 minutes of the half as the Aggies steadily pulled away.
“Everything contributed to this loss,’’ Mahoney said. “Our lack of taking care of the ball in the first half, a lack of scoring in the middle part of the second half ... taking too quick of shots and giving up three or four offensive rebounds in the last couple of minutes.’’
NOC Enid will host Carl Albert in a 6 p.m. women’s-men’s doubleheader Wednesday at the Mabee Center.
NOC ENID 54, MURRAY STATE 42
NOC ENID 28 26 — 54
MURRAY 16 26 — 42
NOC Enid —Beasler 23, Eaton 12, Bates 11, Wallace 4, Sullivan 4
Murray State — Moore 13, Jakubcova 10, Baxter 9, Cheadle 6, Green 4
MURRAY ST. 74, NOC ENID 66
NOC ENID 37 29 — 66
MURRAY ST. 39 35 — 74
NOC Enid— Espinoza 20, Qualls 16, Brooks 13, Brown 6, Lewis 5, Poitier 3, Williams 2, Farmer 1.
Murray State — Jordan 16, Pantovic 14, D. Davis 13, Inglett 13, Smallwood 9, Q. Davis 6, Clark 3.