OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Northwestern Oklahoma State’s men’s basketball team edged a step closer to its first Sooner Athletic Conference championship on Friday night as the Rangers knocked off NAIA’s No. 10 team and the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Oklahoma Baptist, in a 90-76 semifinal win. The win put the Rangers, who advanced to 22-10 with the victory, in the SAC championship at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 5 against No. 14 Southern Nazarene.
The Rangers took a 46-35 lead at the half behind the sharp shooting of Marshall Bell, who canned five first half three-pointers. Northwestern stretched a two-point advantage with 3:47 in the opening period and closed the half with a 14-5 run.
OBU battled back in the beginning of the second half with a 19-7 run that took up the first eight minutes of the second half.
Leading by two, 66-64, at the 6:54 mark, NWOSU went on a 17-7 tear to pull ahead by 15 points with 2:03 left and had no trouble warding off the Bison for the 14-point win over the tournament’s top seed.
The Rangers lit up the net for 56 percent shooting from the field. They hit 12-of-27 from beyond the arc and were 10-of-14 from the free throw line. NWOSU held OBU, who leads the NAIA in field goal and three-point percentage, to 48 percent shooting on the night and to just five three-pointers. Northwestern also out-rebounded the Bison 34-27.
Four Rangers hit double figures as Bell’s 25 points proved to be a game-high. Bell finished with six trey’s, a field goal and five free throws. Daryl Glover had 17 points, Jonathan Freemyer picked up 15 points and eight boards and Orren Tims scored 12 points.
The Bison got 21 points from both Maurice Foster and Tim Bowman.
Northwestern’s only other trip to the SAC championship game came in 2007, when Northwestern meet Southern Nazarene and fell 82-68 in the final game.
Saturday’s Sooner Athletic Conference championship game can be listened to on 1430 AM or by accessing the audio broadcast online at www.nwosu.edu/broadcast. The tournament schedule and results can be found at soonerathletic.org while a tournament website is available here with live video and statistics links.
Fri, March 4, 2011
by Ryan Hintergardt