By Cooper Stanley

The Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers faced off against the Newman Jets on Saturday night in Alva, with the Rangers coming out on top by a final score of 72-64.

The Rangers opened up the game scoring with back-to-back and-one plays by Greg Minor, Jr., son of former first round draft pick and Boston Celtic, Greg Minor, Sr. This was a sign of things to come as Minor ended up leading the Rangers in scoring on the night, dropping 16 points, and was all over the court the entire game, causing turnovers and making plays both offensively and defensively.

After the Rangers 6-0 opening run, Newman broke their ice with a three-ball. The Rangers quickly answered back seconds later with a three of their own.

The Jets seemed discombobulated in the opening 10 minutes of the half, with poor shot selection, running the shot clock down to just a few seconds, and giving up several easy trips to the line.

After the Rangers knocked down a three-pointer to make it 21-7, Jets head coach Mark Potter called a time out. Potter was extremely animated during this time out, clearly unhappy with his players. However, whatever he said to the Jets sparked some life in them because it was the turning point of the half.

The Jets came out of the timeout and began to chip away at the Ranger lead. Daniel Nwosu, Jr., a senior guard from Ottawa, Ontario, knocked down back to back three-pointers and the Jets cut the deficit to just two heading into halftime, with the score at 33-31.

Minor opened up second half scoring just as he did the first half with an and-one play, his third of the ball game. This was followed by Trey Johnson throwing down a dunk with authority, and getting the home crowd buzzing.

The Jets stayed in the game thanks to senior guard Taylor Schieber, who recorded a game-high 19 points on the night including two back-to-back great plays, cutting through all five Ranger defenders for a layup off the glass, and a three-pointer after that.

Second half play was back and forth between the two teams. The Jets were always within striking distance, at one point even tying the game for a brief period with 4:30 left on the clock. However, the Rangers never looked worried, and never trailed the Jets once all game, quickly taking back the lead with two free throws from Brandon Green, a junior from Houston, Texas, who had 13 points in the win.

The final nail, or nails, in the coffin were both delivered by Adrian Motley. Motley had a wide open slam dunk for the Rangers to make it 70-62 with 10 seconds left, followed up by two free throws to end the game, 72-64.

The Rangers improve to 3-5 on the year and look to build off of this win as they head next to Moore Oklahoma to take on Randall University on Dec. 17.

Newman falls to 1-7 on the season, next hosting another non-conference opponent in Kansas Christian on Dec. 13.

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