TONKAWA, Okla. — In a near repeat of the first meeting between the two teams, the No. 17-ranked NOC-Tonkawa men’s basketball team slipped past Cowley in a high-scoring affair Tuesday night, this time winning 102-94.
Cowley lost 106-103 to the Mavericks (9-0) on Nov. 6 in Arkansas City and have handed the Tigers (6-2) their only two defeats on the season.
“Donnie (Jackson) has got a good team, but we feel we have given two games away to them,” Cowley coach Tommy DeSalme said.
A back-and forth-first half saw the Tigers go into halftime trailing 35-33. However, Cowley stormed out of the locker room to build a double-digit lead, 55-45 only four minutes into the second half.
The lead grew to as many as 14 and the Tigers led 80-72 following an emphatic dunk by freshman Shemarri Allen with 6:15 remaining. However, following a Cowley timeout, the Mavericks responded with a 17-6 run to lead 89-86 with just more than two minutes remaining.
A 3-pointer by Cowley freshman Cevin Clark tied the game 89-89, but the Mavericks scored the next nine points and held on.
NOC outscored the Tigers 30-14 in the final six minutes.
The loss snapped Cowley’s four-game winning streak.
“At the point we were up by 14, it was up to us to own that game, but we got caught up in things we can’t control and that’s on me,” DeSalme said. “The two things that killed us were mental toughness and simple decision making.”
Cowley somehow had a chance to win the game despite turning the ball over 41 times and being called for 14 more fouls (37-23) than the Mavericks.
Sophomore Isaac Nwosu was a bright spot in defeat with a season-high 27 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
“Isaac really stepped up and played like he should be playing every game,” DeSalme said.
Clark added 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting and pulled down five rebounds while playing a team-high 35 minutes.
“Cevin keeps getting better and better on both ends of the floor,” DeSalme said.
Clark leads the Tigers with an average of 17.1 points per game, while Nwosu is averaging 14.8 points per contest.
The Tigers, who were the top team receiving votes just outside the top 25 rankings, remain on the road this weekend. Cowley plays Missouri State-West Plains at 7 p.m. Friday before facing Three Rivers at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“These are two really talented teams, so we will need to play our style to have a chance to win,” DeSalme said.
NOC-Tonkawa 102, Cowley 94
Mike’l Henderson 3-8 3-4 11, Shemarri Allen 3-5 0-0 6, Deng Bol 1-3 2-2 4, Cevin Clark 6-8 5-5 19, Isaac Nwosu 9-14 5-6 27, Martaveon Jones 3-9 2-3 9, Dalen Ridgnal 2-7 4-4 9, Will Mangum 1-4 0-0 2, Jacquez Yow 2-5 3-4 7, Malik Coats 0-0 0-0 0, Biar Garang 0-0 0-0 0, Moun’tae Edmundson 0-0 0-0 0, Moses Nuangki 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-63 24-28 94.
Statistics not available. Totals 31-66 35-42 102.
Halftime: NOC-Tonkawa 35-33.