Monday's 71-55 loss to No. 6-ranked New Mexico Junior College was a learning experience for the Northern Oklahoma College Enid Lady Jets.
The Lady Jets (8-1) were only 16 of 58 from the field for 29.3 percent in taking their first loss of the season. The 55 points marked NOC Enid's lowest scoring output of the season.
"I think we attempted to execute the game plan to get good shots, but we really weren't assertive enough,'' said NOC Enid head coach Scott Morris. "That's why we didn't get high percentage shots and didn't get to the line enough (nine of 11). I thought we grew up a lot. They are realizing when you take quick shots it can turn into transition against us versus turning that down and working for a better shot.''
The Lady Jets had taken a 21-20 on a three-pointer by Tanara Combs with 6:35 remaining in the first half, but NOC Enid did not score for the rest of the half. The Thunderbirds answered with a 14-0 run. NOC Enid couldn't get any closer than nine points after that.
The Thunderbirds shot only 40 percent from the field (30 of 75) but took 17 more shots. They had four players in double figures — N'asia McIntosh with 17, Alexes Bryant with 16, Ashley Reid with 15 and Danielle Craft with 13.
"They had non-shooters step up and hit big shots down the stretch, give them credit for that,'' Morris said. "Great teams have playmakers that can do that, We fought hard defensively, but we had some transition defense breakdowns. It was just getting out of position. They're so long that if you get out of position a half a second they will go over the top on you. Overall, I was pleased with how hard we fought.''
Andi Pierce was the lone Lady Jet in double figures with 16 points.
Hall's 28 points powers Jets over Link Year Prep
NOC Enid's men's head coach Greg Shamburg's announcement that he will be leaving after the current season to become executive director of the Denny Price Family YMCA served as motivation for Jets' freshman Tony Hall against Link Year Prep.
Hall scored a season-high 28 points, hitting 11 of 16 shots, including six threes and two dunks in a 114-93 rout of Link Year Prep. The 114 points was the highest scoring output of the campaign for the 6-2 Jets, who have won five straight.
"I wanted to play for him tonight,'' Hall said, "It hurt because I was looking forward to playing for him next year, but everything happens for a reason. You just put things in God's hands and go from there.''
Hall credited point guard Dyaire Holt for setting him up.
"I was just really playing the game and letting it come to me,'' he said. "The point guard (Holt) kept dishing it off and giving me great passes. I was running the court and hitting threes. Normally, when I'm hot I'm feeling it in my veins. I guess a lot of it was the energy I was playing with. I was going off that and playing with a lot of confidence.''
He was joined in double figures by Houston Johnson with 21 and Holt and Denzil Haynes with 14 and Kennan Ballance with 10.
Shamburg didn't think the announcement was a distraction for the team.
"It shouldn't be because we still have four months remaining,'' he said. "We've got plenty of time to worry about that stuff. I felt we played real well in spurts. I thought our intensity picked up in the second half. It's a good way to go into Thanksgiving.''
NOC Enid's men host Sunrise Christian on Nov. 28. Both teams host Murray State on Nov. 30 in the conference opener.
Two undefeated teams took the court Monday night in Enid, Oklahoma when the New Mexico Junior College women's basketball team faced off against Northern Oklahoma College-Enid. Both teams entered play with 8-0 records.
For two quarters, the teams played point for point, but the Lady Thunderbirds outscored the Lady Jets in the second and third quarters as NMJC secured a 16-point victory. The win was the Lady T-Birds smallest margin of victory this year, matching NMJC's 73-57 win over Central Arizona College on November 4.
"It was a very, very big win for this team and this program," NMJC coach Drew Sanders said. "We played really, really well. Northern Oklahoma was 8-0 and to beat them at (their) home was a tribute to the girls."
The game was tied 13-13 after the first 10 minutes, but NMJC was able to score twice for every basket the Lady Jets scored in the second quarter and take a 30-21 lead into the break.
In the third quarter, the Lady T-Birds again outscored Enid, scoring 21 points to the Lady Jets' 14. NMJC led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter, before taking a 16-point lead into the final 10 minutes of play. During the fourth quarter, the Lady Jets cut NMJC's lead to eight points, but NMJC didn't let them get any closer as the Lady T-Birds offense picked up the paced and finished the quarter by matching Enid with 20 points during the fourth.
"We were able to establish a little bit of breathing room in the second quarter," Sanders said. "In the third quarter we extended that lead and then we played even in the fourth quarter." Alexes Bryant led NMJC with 19 points while Ni'Asia McIntosh chipped in 16. Ashley Reid had 14 points and Danielle Craft finished with 13.
With the win, NMJC improves to 9-0 on the season. Next up for the Lady T-Birds is Connors State College (5-3) in Warner, Oklahoma on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.