RiverHawks basketball keeps playoff hopes alive
TNE Editor

RiverHawks basketball keeps playoff hopes alive

Published 2/23/18

 

Austin Headlee

TNE Writer

The NSU basketball teams played against the Emporia State University Hornets. The women’s team has already clinched a playoff spot while the men’s team is still alive for the last spot after a close win over the Hornets.

The women’s team held the lead over the Hornets throughout the game. The RiverHawks were able to control the Hornets’ game plan when they did not allow the Hornets to score on a 3-point shot in the first half. Bailee Eldred, junior guard from Sulphur, led the game in points and rebounds at halftime. 

The Hornets were able to chip into the RiverHawks’ lead after halftime when the game was within five points. However, that was not enough for the Hornets to come back. The RiverHawks were able to finish with a 75-67 win.

Eldred finished the game with a double-double when she scored 19 points and collected 10 rebounds. Cailyn Long, junior forward from Sparta, Mo., was able to score 14 points for the RiverHawks before being injured late in the fourth quarter. Long dislocated her shoulder and was unable to return to the game.

Fala Bullock, NSU women’s basketball head coach, was excited about the win over the Hornets. However, she realizes the season will continue and the team must get back to work. 

“We can’t settle, we can’t just be too excited and we need to celebrate the win tonight, but we have to get back to work,” said Bullock. “We have a tough Washburn team coming on Saturday. Preparation is going to be key. If we can just take care of the ball just a little bit better, I think we’ll be good to go.” 

The men’s team was able to overcome after trailing in the first half and beat the Hornets. The RiverHawks trailed by 15 points at halftime, but the team was able to start the second half with an 11-point run. The RiverHawks went on to score 22 points in the first seven minutes of the half. 

The RiverHawks were able to play aggressive defense, get to the free-throw line and make their 3-point shots in the second half to defeat the Hornets 68-66. The team was able to perform when they needed to keep their playoff hopes alive. 

“We had a good start to the second half; we challenged them,” said Mark Downey, NSU men’s basketball head coach. “I thought we kind of laid an egg in the first half. You can do everything else right, but if you don’t perform when the lights come on and have competitive greatness, you’re going to be worthless. You have to be good when the lights come on when something is on the line. Something is on the line right now, and they responded.”

Josh Bougher, junior forward from Memphis, Tenn., recorded a double-double when he scored 18 points and collected 12 rebounds. Jamir Andrews, graduate guard from Roselle, N.J., scored 16 points, including the last five points needed for the RiverHawks’ win over the Hornets. Andrews credits his teammates for his winning shot.

“They just kept talking to me, to keep going, to keep doing what I’ve been doing, and they gave me the confidence,” said Andrews. “Coach told me the play was going to me and I was like, I can’t let my team down. So, I felt like I just had to make a play.”

Both RiverHawks teams will play another game before the playoffs start. The women’s team will play at 1:30 p.m., Feb. 24 at the NSU Event Center against the Washburn University Ichabods. The men’s team is scheduled to play after the women’s game at 3:30 p.m. The men’s team can clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Ichabods and a loss from the Missouri Western State University Griffons. 




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