Senior Jermaine Bransford collected a career high 16 rebounds and recorded his fourth double-double in the last five games to pace the RiverHawks to the victory.
Both teams shot near 40 percent from the field in the first half, but the RiverHawks used an eight-point advantage at the charity line, including 7-of-8 by sophomore Landon DeMaster, to build up a 38-29 half time lead.
The hot hand of Ethan Anderson paced the way for the RiverHawks in the second half as he scored 13 of his game-high 20 points. But, to the pleased eye of head coach Larry Gipson, it was the Northeastern State defense that played as much of a role in the victory as the timely shooting.
“We did an excellent job all night defensively. I think in the second half we just choked them off and did’nt let them score for a stretch there in the middle of the half,” said Gipson.
It was still a 10-point game until Anderson knocked down a pair of treys to give Northeastern State a 14-point advantage and they were never in trouble after that, stretching the lead as high 20 points, 65-45 with 8:31 to play.
In addition to Anderson, Bryton Hobbs had 19 points and Bransford 11 to complete his double-double. The Tigers (8-3, 2-1) were led by Lance Russell with 16 points.
With the win, the RiverHawks improve to 10-1 overall and retain a share of the lead in the MIAA with a 3-0 mark. Both NSU teams will be home Saturday to face Nebraska-Kearney beginning with the women’s game at 1:35 p.m.