Four double-figure scorers lead Rangers in conference opener

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Four double-figure scorers lead Rangers in conference opener

Box Score

ALVA, Okla. (11-21-11) — Four Northwestern Oklahoma State University men’s basketball players finished with double-figures on Monday as the Rangers snapped a three game losing streak with a victory over Oklahoma Christian, 72-61.

Northwestern (3-3, 1-0) is just beginning a busy week as they travel to San Antonio, Texas, for a contest on Friday against Our Lady of the Lake. On Sunday, they are faced with a tough task as they take on NCAA Div. I Texas State in San Marcos.

In the opening game of the week against the Eagles, the Rangers came out looking as if they were going to control the game from the beginning. Following a missed bucket by the visitors on their opening possession, Jonathan Freemyer knocked down three of his team high 15 points to give the Rangers an early lead.

However, it didn’t last long, as the Eagles came back and took the lead. The two teams traded leads several times before the Eagles hit a couple of three-pointers to extend to a six-point deficit.

Matching Oklahoma Christian basket for basket for a few minutes, the Rangers tied the game up for a fourth time in the contest with 7:41 on the clock as Jeremy Felton got a layup on the lane. Following an Eagle free-throw, the Rangers jumped back in front with 5 minutes remaining on a basket from Dylan Fife.

The Rangers and Eagles battled it out through the end of the first half, heading into their locker rooms with the game tied at 26. Through the first 20 minutes of play, there were seven ties and six lead changes.

The second half was a different story. From the opening inbound of the half, the Rangers jumped out on an 11-3, holding an eight-point lead just three minutes out of the locker rooms.

After the Eagles cut the lead to one after a quick burst of offense, the Rangers answered with another run. With 13 minutes remaining the in contest, Marshall Bell hit a huge three-point shot on a fast break to go up ten, followed a fast break layup off the same hand only seconds later.

Bell finished with 12 points in the contest, just below his season average. The junior is now on a collision course with the 1,000-point milestone, just 76 points shy of the club.

Daryl Glover was the fourth Ranger with a double-figure scoring output with 11.

Following another easy layup in the paint by Felton, who also finished with 12 points, Eze Akwari put the nail in the coffin with a three-pointer to extended the Rangers lead to 16 with just six minutes to go, 62-46.

Despite their good efforts to get back in the game, the Rangers defense was just too much for the Eagles.

Northwestern forced Oklahoma Christian to turn the ball over 20 times, taking it away with a steal 12 times. Thiago Guilherme and Akwari each had three of their own in the game.

The defense also forced the Eagles into one of their worst shooting performances of the season as they finished with just 16 field goals in the game for 33.3-percent. By contrast, the Rangers shot 42.9-percent, knocking down a total of eight from behind the arc.

Monday’s hard fought victory was just one of many battles in recent years. The Eagles have had a slight edge in the past nine matchups between the two schools, winning five.