TAHLEQUAH -- A hot start from Dillon Bailey and a strong finish from Christian Cook propelled the RiverHawks to an 82-72 win over Newman on Saturday evening inside the NSU Event Center. 

The freshman duo scored 29 combined points as NSU (2-7, 2-7 MIAA) snapped a six-game skid, and it was the team's first home win of the season. 

"It's been a while since we experienced a winning locker room, and I'm really just thrilled for them," said head coach Ja Havens. We fought down the stretch when they (Newman) chipped into the lead late; I thought we stepped up to make plays late."

"It wasn't a masterpiece. It was what we needed desperately. We had a great first half. I'm mean statistically, our effort level, our defensive intensity to start the game. We told them at halftime that they would come out with intensity...and they did. It was good to see our guys come together and decide that we're going to make the right plays, we're going to make the right passes, we are going to be tough with the ball and step up and make free throws late."

Cook scored 20 points and shot 7-for-10 on the floor to pace all players on the floor. Obi Agu recorded his first double-double in an NSU uniform with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Troy Locke had 12, and Brad Davis came away with ten. Bailey had all nine of his points scored in the first half.

"It was big for me because I was struggling at the beginning of the year," said Cook. "I couldn't put in a three and to come out here and put 20, it was amazing, it was good for my confidence."

DeVonta Prince threw down a pair of dunks on Newman (2-7, 2-7), finishing with eight points and five rebounds.   

 

The RiverHawks blasted past the Jets out of the gates with a 13-0 run and played a strong first half shooting 53.6-percent on the floor (15-28). Bailey paced the RiverHawks with nine points, surpassing his career mark. NSU led as many as 17 points over Newman and took a 39-26 lead into the locker room. 

A 12-2 run early in the second half by Newman allowed enough of an opportunity to crawl back into the ballgame. With 4:51 left in the game, the Jets managed to trim down the NSU lead to one (62-61). The RiverHawks responded back with an 8-2 run fueled by a Cook dunk and treys from Agu and Davis. 

 

NSU 60, Newman 46 (w) 

NSU had two register double-doubles for the first time since 2010 in the win.

 

Zaria Collins had 20 points to go with a career-high 11 rebounds and Cenia Hayes finished with a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double while Shae Sanchez dished out a career-high eight assists.

 

"I think they got on the glass which was important today, to win that battle," head coach Fala Bullock said. "Cenia shot it so well to start the game and I can't say enough about Z and what she brings with that stability piece. She got on the glass today and it was great to see her get her finishes and just to be a rebounder."

 

NSU moved to 3-6, 3-6 in MIAA and Newman fell to 2-6 on both counts.

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