ENID, Okla. – The Ranger basketball team escaped a one-point, 85-84 win in their season opener against No. 5 in NAIA Division II College of the Ozarks at the Mabee Center in Enid on Tuesday night.
The game went through 14 lead changes and five ties before the Rangers were victorious.
Northwestern jumped out to a 10 point lead, leaving the Bobcats scoreless over the first four minutes of play.
College of the Ozarks went on a 25-5 run over the next 10 minutes to take a 25-15 lead. Northwestern then cut that lead to a 31-26 score heading into the half.
The Bobcats again pulled to a 10-point lead in the beginning of the second half, but Northwestern quickly closed the gap, going through six lead changes midway through the half.
With NWOSU up 67-57 with 2:57 to go, the Bobcats trimmed the lead to two with 45 seconds left and hit a three-pointer with 32 seconds left to tie the game at 70-70. A Ranger bucket failed in the final seconds to force the game into overtime.
In overtime, Northwestern maintained the lead for the final minute, but a last second three-pointer closed the gap to the eventual 85-84 win.
The Rangers collectively shot 41.8 percent from the field and hit only 5-of-21 from three-point range and were 53.8 percent from the free throw line.
Brandon Brown led the way with 20 points as four other Rangers hit double figures. Brandon Dixon chipped in 17 points, while Jonathan Freemyer added 13 points off the bench. Marshall Bell scored 12 points and Brandon Wooley added 10.
Northwestern scored 25 points off of 25 Bobcat turnovers, while the Ozarks got 39 points from its bench.
College of the Ozarks hit 44.3 percent and were 23 percent from three-point range. The Bobcats added 27 points from the free throw line as they made 27-of-34.
Northwestern (1-0) will play an exhibition game against Stephen F. Austin State University at Nacogdoches, Texas on Monday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. before returning home on Nov. 13.
Wed, November 4, 2009
by Ryan Hintergardt