From NSU Sports Information
Cedrique Flemming, NSU Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Northeastern State men’s basketball team sent Larry Gipson out on a high note by defeating Pittsburg State 61-60 Wednesday night inside the NSU Event Center.PSUatNSU

The legendary coach will be retiring at the end of the season, and he coached his final regular-season home game. The RiverHawks (13-10, 8-8 MIAA) trailed for the majority of the contest, but a contested step-back 3-point shot from senior guard Bryton Hobbs at the buzzer lifted the home team over the Gorillas (7-16, 3-13 MIAA). Northeastern State picked up its second-straight win, while PSU dropped its sixth in a row.

The win lifted NSU into eighth place in the MIAA standings with three road games remaining. The teams slotted Nos. 5-8 at the end of the year will host a first-round game in the MIAA Championship on March 4, while those four will host the teams seeded 9-12. The top four seeds all earn byes to the quarterfinals.

Hobbs finished with a game-high 22 points. He also added seven assists and six rebounds. Senior forward Marcus Sheppard compiled seven points and a career-high 11 rebounds. He also added four blocks in 40 minutes on Senior Night. Both Hobbs and Sheppard were honored prior to the contest.

Junior forward Curtis Evans contributed 11 points to the winning cause.

Northeastern State shot 23-for-55 (41.8 percent) from the field, 8-for-26 (30.8 percent) from downtown and 7-for-8 (87.5 percent) at the free-throw line. Pittsburg State shot 44.6 percent (25-for-56) from the field, 41.2 percent (7-for-17) from behind the three-point line and 100 percent (3-for-3) from the line. The two teams combined for just 11 free throws. Hobbs himself has attempted at least 11 free throws in 11 different games this season.

The Gorillas were led by Jake Bullard, who finished with 14 points. Trevor Gregory tallied 10 for the visitors. Devon Branch was held to just seven points, which marked the first time this season he failed to reach double figures. He entered the game third in the MIAA at 20.4 points per game.

PSU led for the final 11:18 of the first half and carried a 28-27 margin into intermission.

NSU junior guard Michael Harmon drained a three coming out of the locker room to give the home team a two-point lead, but Bullard hit a three on the other end and the road team stayed on top for the rest of the game. The only time the RiverHawks would regain the lead was on Hobbs’ buzzer beater.

Northeastern State will now travel to Edmond, Okla., for a 3:30 p.m. meeting Feb. 22 with Central Oklahoma.

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