Phoenix staff, wire reports
NSU 73, Mo. Western 70
TAHLEQUAH — Trailing by seven with 6:01 to play, the RiverHawks (8-2, 3-0 MIAA) closed the game on a 15-5 run to stay on top of the conference standings, while the hot-shooting Griffons (6-4, 1-1 MIAA) suffered their first league loss of the year.
Senior guard Bryton Hobbs led all scorers with 20 points despite playing only 25 minutes due to foul trouble. He did most of his damage on the free-throw line, finishing 9 of 12 from the charity stripe. Junior guard Keon Littleton added 17 points and eight rebounds, senior forward Marcus Sheppard finished with 14 points and nine boards, and junior forward Curtis Evans chipped in 12 points and eight boards.
His free throw tied it at 65 with 2:47 left. Ryan Devers’ layup with 1:18 to go put MWSU up by one on the ensuing trip downcourt and Marcus Sheppard answered with a 3-pointer with :51 left and up 69-67, the RiverHawks would never trail again. NSU shot 54 percent from the3-point line as they moved to 8-2 overall, 3-0 in league play.
Keon Littleton had 17 points and eight rebounds and Sheppard had 14 points and nine rebounds. Curtis Evans had 12 points.
Ryan Devers led the way for the Griffons (6-4, 1-1) with 16 points and six rebounds. Adarius Fulton had 12 points, four rebounds and four assists.
“This was a big win for us coming back the way we did,” said NSU coach Larry Gipson. “We had a long layoff after our last game. We were in massive foul trouble for a time. We just kept hanging in there and battling.
NSU hosts Central Missouri on Saturday in a 3:30 p.m. tipoff.
Arkansas 102, Tenn.-Martin 56
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Freshman Moses Kingsley posted career highs of 12 points and 12 rebounds as Arkansas returned from a week layoff with a convincing 102-56 win over Tennessee-Martin on Thursday night.
The margin of victory matched the largest of the season for the Razorbacks (8-2), who have now won 21 straight home games.
Freshman Bobby Portis and senior Coty Clarke added 15 points each for Arkansas, which shot 60.9 percent (42 of 69) and had five players score in double figures. Portis, a McDonald’s All-American in high school, has now scored in double figures in six straight games.
Terence Smith led the Skyhawks (5-9), who had their three-game winning streak snapped, with 19 points. Tennessee-Martin was just 19 of 69 (27.5 percent) from the field.
The loss was the worst of the season for Tennessee-Martin, topping a 30-point loss to UNLV on Nov. 30. The game was Arkansas’ first in seven days, after taking the week off for finals.
NSU 57, Mo. Western 42
TAHLEQUAH — The RiverHawks (5-5, 2-1 MIAA) needed career highs from two freshmen in order to get the job done, but they were able to crank up the defense late and get past the Griffons (4-4, 0-2).
Redshirt freshman Courtney Cowan led NSU with 14 points. She was only 2-for-7 from the field, but she made 8 of 12 from the free-throw line. True freshman Mya Walker added 12 points, and both players chipped in five rebounds.
“It’s good to see. Those were kids that when we recruited them we thought scoring was something they gave us,” said NSU coach Randy Gipson. “They’re players that can put the ball in the basket. They’re starting to understand the game and the intensity that’s required to play at this level. We started Courtney tonight because we’ve seen the some things in the last week and a half in practice.
“We’ve seen some progress being made, and she demonstrated that she can play at this level and she is only going to get better. This was also a breakout game for Mya as well. That was clearly her best college game. She made some big contributions for us tonight. That’s encouraging to see. We found a way to win, and now we get ready for the next one.”
Quenisha Lockett posted a double-double with a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds. She was all on her own, however, as no other member of the team had more than six points.
NSU hosts No. 8 Central Missouri on Saturday in a 1:30 p.m. tipoff.
OSU 63, Michigan St. 57
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Tiffany Bias hit all of her free throws in the final seconds and No. 13 Oklahoma State held off Michigan State to win 63-57 on Thursday in the Puerto Rico Classic.
Michigan State called a timeout with 43 seconds remaining after trailing 57-54. The Spartans grabbed their own rebound, but turned the ball over after being called for travelling. Bias shot 4 of 4 from the free throw line in the remaining seconds, and Oklahoma State (9-0) clinched the win after rallying back from a five-point deficit (42-37) with 11:05 to play.
The Spartans (6-5) led by three points at the half after holding Oklahoma State to just 24.2 percent shooting. Oklahoma State went 13 minutes without a field goal before going on a 7-0 run with 3:57 left before the break.
Michigan State will face Georgetown on Friday and Oklahoma State will play Georgia Tech on Saturday.