Alva Review-Courier -

By Eric Scott
NWOSU Sports 

Defense lifts Rangers past Reddies in home finale


February 24, 2019

Trey Lunn

Ranger Eric Andres Jr. makes the fade away jump shot versus Henderson State in Saturday's contest.

ALVA, Okla. – A balanced scoring effort helped the Northwestern Oklahoma State University men's basketball team to a conference victory Saturday afternoon against Henderson State, 69-54, in Percefull Fieldhouse.

Four Northwestern players finished in double figures in the victory. A.J Jones had a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists, with Andrew Clopton, David Thornton and freshman Cole Jones adding 10 points each. Cole Jones now has 34 threes on the season, the most three-point baskets made by a freshman since Northwestern career three-point record holder Marshall Bell in 2009-10.

The win for Northwestern against a very good Henderson State team moved the Rangers to 7-19 overall and 5-15 in the conference.

Already known as having on the tightest defenses in the Great American Conference, Northwestern held the Reddies to their lowest scoring output of the season by a nine-point margin. HSU dropped 85 on the Rangers in January in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Despite being at a size disadvantage against the Reddies, the Rangers still outscoring their opponents 26-18 in the paint. The Northwestern bench also contributed big points with Cole Jones 10 points and Eric Andres Jr. hitting some big shots, including a three late in the game, to finish with nine points.

The game went back and forth early on before a jumper from Andres and a Cole Jones three sparked a 13-2 run by the Rangers to make it a 22-10 ballgame with 7:26 to go in the first half. After the Reddies hit a three to stop the run, Hunter Frisby, playing in his final home game for the Rangers, answered with a layup.

Later in the first half, Northwestern opened up a 14-point lead, its largest of the first half, following back-to-back baskets from Bryce Cashman and Clopton. The Reddies got back to a single digit difference before Jack Peck drilled a three at the buzzer to send the Rangers into the break with a 32-20 lead.

Trey Lunn

David Thornton of the Rangers drains the baseline jumpshot over two Henderson State defenders.

Henderson State came out and started the second half with a 9-2 run before A.J. Jones hit one of his two threes in the game to make it 37-29.

At the 10-minute mark of the second half, the Reddies were able to cut the difference to three points. Andres answered with a quick layup, and after Bryshon Bryant go to the rim for a layup, Andres and Clopton went back-to-back from beyond the arc to make it 53-42 with just under seven minutes to go.

Following a three from the Reddies, A.J. Jones scored five straight to stretch the Northwestern lead to 13 with five minutes left in the game.

The difference would hold around between 11 and 13 points until the final minute when the Henderson defense made the mistake of leaving Cole Jones wide open for three. He knocked down the shot from the left corner for the final basket of the game.


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