By COURTLIN HAYGARTH | HSU Sports Network
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – Henderson State either trailed or was tied with Northwestern Oklahoma State for four minutes and 52 seconds during the five minute overtime, yet two free-throws with eight seconds remaining from Ryan Boyce lifted the Reddies over the Rangers in Alva, Oklahoma Saturday afternoon, 91-89.
The overtime victory marks HSU’s first 2-0 GAC Oklahoma road trip since the 2019-2020 season. Henderson defeated Southwestern Oklahoma State in Weatherford on Thursday, 82-76.
As a team, Henderson made all but one free-throw in the one-possession triumph, going 13-for-14 (92.9%) from the charity stripe, compared to NWOSU’s 20-for-26 (76.9%) night at the line. The Reddie also shot 12-of-19 (63.2%) from three-point territory compared to 9-of-23 (39.1%) for the Rangers.
Alvin Miles delivered his second straight 20-point outing, going for a new season-high 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting, six rebounds and four steals. Four other Reddies scored in double figures as Malik Riddle (18), Franck Kamgain (15) and Zyon Patterson (12) joined the double-figure club.
The night started off with Northwestern scoring the first nine points of the game before an 11-point advantage was set prior to the second media timeout, 16-5. A three-pointer from Riddle finally jolted the Reddie offense, who proceeded to go on an 8-0 run to close the gap to three, 16-13.
The Rangers built their lead back to double-digits one more time before back-to-back three-pointers from Patterson and Miles, followed by lay-ups from Kamgain and Patterson, gave the game its first tie since tip-off at the 2:50 mark. A couple NWOSU buckets followed by a Kamgain layup at the buzzer brought the score to 36-33 at the break.
The Reddies quickly erased the deficit with two Riddle free-throws 49 seconds into the second half, followed by a Riddle lay-up to put HSU ahead, 37-36. Another bucket from Miholjcic opened a three-point margin before an and-1 from NWOSU’s Malik Parsons tied it up at 39. A quick two-pointer from Riddle was met with alternating three-pointers as play stood in favor of HSU, 44-42.
Henderson maintained a slim lead over the next five minutes, answering all of the Ranger’s shots with contributions of its own, before the game’s second stint of back-to-back triples from Miles and Patterson opened up HSU’s largest lead of the game with 11 minutes left to play, 58-49. Five straight from NWOSU was met with a personal 5-0 run from Kamgain to reestablish the nine-point lead.
Northwestern got back to as close as four before the Reddies responded yet again with a Riddle triple with 5:05 remaining in regulation, as the cat-and-mouse game continued until the scoreboard read 74-67 with the visitors on top. From there, the Rangers used a couple HSU offensive fouls and turnovers to rattle off seven straight, giving the game its fourth tie at 74-74.
Miles broke Henderson’s scoring drought with a pull-up jumper with 44 seconds left before NWOSU’s Parsons earned a foul on the other end, missing the back-end of a 1-and-1 only to get his own offensive rebound. Now with just a one-point lead for the Reddies, another foul on Parsons with 13 seconds left yielded another 1-for-2 trip to the line, sending the game into overtime after HSU was unable to hit at the buzzer, 76-76.
Parsons made the NWOSU fans quickly forget about the two missed freebies, cashing in a layup 15 seconds into overtime as the Rangers either led or were tied for four minutes and 52 seconds of overtime. Kamgain used one of his three triples to close a three-point gap with just under four minutes left to play in the overtime period.
A four-run spurt from the home team, however, left HSU playing catch-up as it used two free-throws from Miles to cut the deficit to two, though a Ranger triple established the largest lead of the extra period, 88-83. With the outcome appearing bleak, Miles willed the team on, scoring a tough and-1 met by a NWOSU 1-for-2 trip at the free-throw before Kamgain delivered his biggest three-ball of the night with 1:32 left to play to give the game its final tie, 89-89.
Both teams missed go-ahead field-goals in the final minute before the HSU defense forced a Ranger turnover with 34 seconds left. A Northwestern foul deep into the shot clock sent Ryan Boyce to the free-throw line with the clock reading eight seconds, where the 76.5 percent shooter knocked down both freebies as a missed triple at the buzzer from NWOSU completed the 2-0 road trip.
Henderson St. (10-13, 7-10) returns from the Sooner State for the season’s second edition of the Battle of the Ravine Tuesday, Feb. 14. The rivalry tips off at 7:30 p.m. from inside the Duke Wells Center.