Don Vieth, Director of Athletics Communications
TAHLEQUAH – Northeastern State survived to fight another day thanks to a Jamir Andrews floater with three seconds to go to beat Emporia State 68-66 on Thursday evening at the NSU Event Center. The win kept the RiverHawks’ (8-19, 4-14 MIAA) postseason hopes alive heading in to the final game of the season.
Andrews had 14 of his 16 points in the second half including a dagger three-pointer to put NSU ahead by 66-64 with 35 seconds remaining to pave the way for their win over the Hornets (9-17, 4-14 MIAA).
Things did not look well for NSU early and they trailed 41-26 at the half. However, out of the locker room the contest went a 180 in direction and the RiverHawks opened the second half with an 11-0 run in the first three minutes to get them right back in the game to set up the seesaw battle to the finish.
The arc was NSU’s friend in the second half where they went 7-for-9. However, both teams mirrored each other on the stat line with teams shooting at just around 45-percent. On the glass, Emporia had a slight 31-to-30 edge.
Andrews’ late heroics overshadowed a solid performance by Josh Bougher who had his second double-double of the year with a team game high 12 rebounds and 18 points. Tanner Mouse and Montre’ Williams both had 11 points in the win.
Despite the victory, Northeastern State still needs help to get into the MIAA Tournament with three teams vying for the final spot in. Things boil down to a NSU win Saturday and a Missouri Western loss to send the RiverHawks into the postseason.
“I thought we kind of laid an egg in the first half,” head coach Mark Downey said. “We came in at halftime and talked about competitive greatness. You’ve got to be good when something’s on the line, and we responded. We started that second half on an 11-0 run and all of a sudden, it was a close game. Our guys kept fighting.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
3 – Northeastern State has won three games in a row against Emporia State and evened the overall series at 9-to-9.
22 – NSU led 22-to-16 in points in the paint.
23 – Jamir Andrews has 23 games this season in double-digit scoring.
Northeastern State will host Washburn on Saturday for their regular season finale at 3:30 p.m.