ALVA, Okla. — Craig Doty said there were a lot of positive things for the Emporia State men’s basketball team in Sunday’s game at Northwestern Oklahoma State.
The Hornets were able to battle adversity throughout the game and saw them erase an eight-point deficit in the second half to force overtime, but couldn’t carry that momentum into the extra session in a 94-90 loss.
“They were very competitive in many aspects,” Doty said. “On the road, it comes down to discipline. I think (NWOSU) had a little bit more than us and that was a difference in the ballgame.”
ESU got off to an 8-2 lead in the first half and saw its largest lead at eight, which was slashed to three points at 35-32 at halftime.
The Hornets increased their lead to six in the first minute of the second half on a fastbreak 3-pointer by Sawyer Glick that forced a Ranger timeout. The Rangers found their rhythm after a 45-all tie going on a 10-3 run to lead 55-48 with 11:54 to play in regulation.
ESU then outscored NWOSU, 11-4, to tie the game at 59. The two teams exchanged baskets over the next five possessions, which was followed by a pair Julius Jackson free throws that cut the deficit to 67-66. Kooper Glick tied the game at 69, followed by a one-point ESU lead after he made two at the charity stripe after the Rangers went 1-of-2 on their end of the floor.
NWOSU led by four points with 1:05 left and were outscored by the Hornets, 6-2. A Sawyer Glick triple pulled the Hornets to within one, but after a pair of Ranger free throws, Hluchoweckyj drove to the basket, scored and got fouled in the process. He converted the free throw to knot the game at 82. The Rangers had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, but the final shot did not drop.
In overtime, the Rangers took full control, going on an 8-0 run to lead 90-82, 90 seconds into the extra stanza.
“Those early possessions in overtime are important,” Doty said. “We weren’t effective on either end of the floor.”
The Hornets were able to cut the deficit to two on a triple by Sawyer Glick, but when they needed a defensive stop they couldn’t get it as Treyvon Andres pushed the lead back to two possession with 22 seconds remaining.
ESU made a living at the charity stripe, going 29-of-35.
“We’ve been getting to the foul line and making free throws,” Doty said. “That’s a staple of what we’re able to do. Malik and Julius are both very hard to guard and they give us a lot of upside, and allows to do a lot of things.”
Senior Hassan Thomas fouled out with 5:05 left in regulation, forcing the Hornets to go with some of their other reserves who can pose as a threat inside. Even without Thomas on the floor, Duncan Fort earned his third start of the season made his contributions adding nine points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes on the floor.
“(Hassan) needs to get healthy, but it’s nice for Duncan to come in and do some positive things for us,” Doty said. “Duncan’s earn everything through his hard work in practice. That’s a heck of a night for him. He needs to continue to work hard as we hope he will. We’ll keep it rolling for him.”
Sawyer Glick led the Hornets with 19 points, with Hluchoweckyj adding 18. Jackson tallied 15 and Kooper Glick chipped in 13.
ESU (6-5) resumes MIAA play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday when it hosts Washburn at White Auditorium.
“We’ll see how all the little things matter and we’ll continue to work with this group to try to maximize them,” Doty said. “There’s not a ton of margin for error, in terms the amount of talent we put on the floor versus the amount our opponent puts on the floor. It comes down to the little things. If we can figure out how to do those things for 40-minute stretches, we’re going to win games. If we don’t do it for 40 minutes, then we’re going to put ourselves in the position where we don’t come out on top.”
ESU 35 47 8 — 90
NWOSU 32 50 12 — 94
Emporia State (6-5): Thomas 0-3 2-2 2, Fort 3-6 3-3 9, K. Glick 4-11 3-4 13. Fort 3-6 3-4 9, Hluchoweckyj 6-9 6-7 18, S. Glick 6-11 2-2 19, Jackson 2-7 10-14 15, Washington 3-8 1-1 8, Shell 1-3 2-2 4, McGee 1-2 0-0 2, Rowan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 26-61 29-35 90.
Northwestern Oklahoma (3-7): Andres 6-12 5-5 17, Thornton 7-11 2-6 17, Clopton 4-6 2-2 11, Peck 2-8 4-6 10, A.J. Jones 1-5 4-8 7, C. Jones 6-14 0-0 16, Swain 3-5 2-2 8, Bryant 2-5 2-3 8, Bateast 1-9 0-2 2, Cashman 0-2 0-0 0, Andres Jr. 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 32-77 21-30 94.
Three-pointers: NWOSU 9-29 (Peck 2-5, Thornton 1-2, A.J. Jones 1-3, Andres 0-3, Clopton 1-2, Bateast 0-2, Swain 0-1, C. Jones 4-11) ESU 9-29 (Fort 0-1, Hluchoweckyj 0-2, Thomas 0-1, S. Glick 5-10, K. Glick 2-6, Shell 0-1, Jackson 1-5, McGee 0-1, Washington 1-2).
Rebounds: NWOSU 47 (Andres 12), ESU 43 (Fort, Hluchoweckyj 7 each); Assists: NWOSU 20 (A.J. Jones 11), ESU 16 (Hluchoweckyj 6).
Technical Fouls: NWOSU, Bench; ESU, None
Fouled Out: NWOSU-None; ESU-Thomas