Alva Review-Courier -

By Jay Barlett
NWOSU Athletic Communications 

Rangers downed by #5 Southern Nazarene


November 30, 2018

Trey Lunn

Redshirt junior guard Joseph Moorer finishes an acrobatic layup in Thursday night's game versus Southern Nazarene.

ALVA, Okla. – Northwestern Oklahoma State University men's basketball opened Great American Conference play with an 80-67 loss Thursday to nationally ranked Southern Nazarene University. Four Rangers pitched in double-digit scoring efforts led by 14 points from A.J. Jones.

The Rangers (1-4, 0-1 GAC) got off to a slow start with Southern Nazarene (7-0, 1-0 GAC) building a 19-7 lead eight minutes into the game. Northwestern gained momentum midway through the first half as a 15-0 run took the contest from a 23-14 SNU advantage to a four-point Ranger lead, with help from eight of Treyvon Andres' 12 points on the night.

The Crimson Storm would retake the lead with 2:05 to play in the first half, but the Rangers found themselves trailing the country's fifth ranked team by only four at the break.

Northwestern struggled to find its rhythm against SNU's high-pressure defense as the Rangers went just 19-of-59 (30 percent) from the field. After hitting a season-low two three-pointers in last weekend's loss to No. 25 Regis, the Red and Black showed signs of life from beyond-the-arc and converted on nine of 20 attempts including 3-of-4 from guard Joseph Moorer.

"About half of our game plan I thought we executed well," said head coach Shawn Dirden. "The other half, not so much. I thought we got some looks, but we weren't able to make shots."

Empty possessions in the second half proved costly for the Rangers with the Crimson Storm extending their lead to as many as 16 points. Southern Nazarene turned the ball over 12 times and picked up eight steals, while the Rangers had 15 giveaways but out-rebounded Southern Nazarene 44 to 36.

Trey Lunn

A.J. Jones sets up the offense for the Rangers.

Weston, Missouri, native Bryce Cashman had a season-high 11 points but fouled out with just under four minutes remaining in the game. After playing a clean first half, the center was charged with four personal fouls in a span of two minutes midway through the second period.

Southern Nazarene employed a balanced attack that was led by Micah Speight who had a game high 15 points. Noah Starkey, the Crimson Storm's 6-foot-11 center, recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds.

"The energy from the guys was good tonight and we've got to keep that up looking ahead to Saturday," said Dirden.

The Rangers will welcome in the Oklahoma Baptist Bison Saturday, Dec. 1, for a 3 p.m. tip-off. The Bison (2-3, 1-0 GAC) are coming off an 80-77 overtime win over Southeastern Oklahoma State and were led by Dishon Lowery who had a game-high 18 points.


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