The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

March 15, 2013

Northeastern State has title on resume

TAHLEQUAH, OKLA. — Last season wasn’t a lot of fun at Northeastern State.

The RiverHawks were playing an independent schedule, with 15 games on the road. After five games, coach Larry Gipson was diagnosed with cancer and had to leave the team.

A year later, Northeastern State is a member of the Mid-America Athletic Association and playing in the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in program history.

“It’s been a rewarding season on so many levels,” Gipson said. “I’m really happy for the six seniors, and all they went through last year. My assistant (Jon Havens) stepped in and did a great job. These kids have risen up and met every challenge.”

Northeastern State (19-8), the seventh seed, takes on Winona State (24-7) in the quarterfinals of the Central Region men’s basketball tournament. The game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Bresnan Arena.

“We know we have another big challenge ahead of us,” Gipson said.

The RiverHawks, who won a national championship in 2003, allow only 64.9 points per game, but Gipson said defense is his main concern.

“We’re very inconsistent on defense,” he said. “We are capable of being very good defensively.”

The offense is led by junior guard Bryton Hobbs, one of the new faces on the roster. He’s averaging 18.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.

Jermaine Bransford, a 6-7 senior forward, is averaging 16.0 points and 9.7 rebounds, and senior guard Ethan Anderson, the only player on the roster that’s been in the program four years, is averaging 10.6 points and shooting 42.9 percent from 3-point range.

“We’re an athletic team that likes to play defense,” Hobbs said. “We don’t give up very many points, and we try not to give up any easy points.

“On offense, we take what the defense gives us. If we rebound or get a steal, we like to run, but we can grind in the halfcourt, and we usually get a good shot.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Pineda: Put pine tar because he didn't want to hit anyone Farrell on Pineda: 'When it's that obvious, something has to be said' Wrigley Field celebrates 100th birthday Phelps returns to the pool Tour Confidential: What Impact Will Tiger's Absence Have on Golf? Pujols joins 500 club Wall: 'This was a make or break year for me' Klatt's Mock Draft: Top 10 Klatt's Mock Draft: Late 1st round Marcus Spears: Cowboys Needs on Draft Day Could Bridgewater Make Scouts Look Foolish? NFL Draft: Will Manziel Be Off The Board By Pick No. 4? Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes Race to avoid Premier League relegation heats up The many faces of Mike Woodson Draft Preview: Ego Ferguson Chelsea, Atletico set to do battle in Champions League With The Twelfth Pick, The New York Giants Select... Rosenthal: Trout's contract was a compromise Trail Blazers battle back, overcome Rockets in OT