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RiverHawks late run comes up short in 55-46 loss to UCO

Published 12/7/17

TAHLEQUAH – The RiverHawks fought out of a 13-point deficit in the third quarter and were a point away from overtaking the Bronchos in the fourth but they came up short falling 55-46 in MIAA play on Tuesday evening. 

Cailyn Long had nine of her team high 12 points in the second half, Tree Brooks was NSU's second leading scorer with eight.

Offensive rebounds were the underlying story of the night with UCO grabbing 21 and outscoring Northeastern State 19-to-1.

"Their (UCO) offensive production off of the glass really disturbed us, their length disturbed us," said head coach Fala Bullock following the contest.  "I think we were frazzled from the start just thinking that we needed to try to find a way to score against a 6-5 inside."

"I thought they responded at halftime and they found a way to get a run in the third and into the fourth quarter and we had our chance."

The RiverHawks who were averaging just over 40 rebounds a game were held to a season low 29; Central Oklahoma grabbed a season high 52 off the glass.

Despite not scoring until the final minute of the first quarter, NSU's defense stalled the Bronchos' offense to 21-percent shooting.  The RiverHawks closed the period scoring four answered and only trailed Central Oklahoma 9-4. 

Defense continued to rule in the second quarter with NSU picking off six steals to tie the game at 14-14 on a Bailee Eldred layup with 2:13 left.  Central Oklahoma would finish the half with four straight points with NSU only attempting one bucket in the remaining time to trail 18-14 at the intermission.  

In the second half, the Bronchos would start on a 12-3 run on the RiverHawks who were shooting 1-for-5 from the field. Trailing 30-17, Cenia Hayes broke the scoring drought for NSU with a trey in front of her bench midway through the quarter to open an 18-9 run in favor of the RiverHawks that ran into the fourth period.

Morgan Hellyer continued NSU's hot streak with a layup to get them within a possession (39-37) of the Bronchos. After trading buckets, Cailyn Long hit a three pointer with 4:57 left to bring the RiverHawks a point back of UCO (44-43).  The momentum halted following the Long trey for the RiverHawks and the Bronchos went on a 11-1 run shooting 5-for-6 from the field.

NSU shot 18-for-55 (32.7%) and were 6-for-17 from the arc on Tuesday evening; Central Oklahoma (7-1, 2-1 MIAA) was 23-for-64 (35.9%) on their side of the floor.

Northeastern State (4-4, 1-2 MAA) will return to the floor on Saturday to host Southwest Baptist at 1:30 p.m.
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