The Crowder Lady Roughriders jumped out to a big early lead Friday night against the visiting Northern Oklahoma-Enid Lady Jets.

Unfortunately, for the Lady ‘Riders, the guests from Enid worked their way back into the game and sophomore point guard Kammi Gruber’s 3-point shot late in regulation gave the Lady Jets a 61-60 lead that would hold up for the final score in the final game of the first day of the Don Wilson Classic at Bob Sneller Gymnasium.

Crowder sophomore post Zahria White split a pair at the line with 40 seconds remaining, then the Lady ‘Riders came away with a steal and a stop, calling timeout for the final possession with around 11 ticks remaining on the clock.

Freshman forward Meagan Bandimere’s desperation shot rimmed out and the Lady ‘Riders could not corral the rebound for a second-chance opportunity and time expired.

“A tough one,” Crowder head coach Tina Wilson said. “When you lose by one and you miss eight free throws and I felt like we missed some open shots, whether they be layups or shots around the rim, that we should have made. It’s all those little things. We gave up too many second-chance points, as well.”

Wilson has talked about Crowder’s struggles putting away teams and that cost the Lady ‘Riders on Friday night.

“We talked about that because we had them down 10-2 right off the bat and then 14-6,” Wilson said. “We talked about that you put your foot on the accelerator and we didn’t do that. It was early in the game, but still you’ve got to widen the gap. I thought our kids played hard. They played hard. We didn’t do a very good job of executing down the stretch, but like I told them, it’s not the one play at the end that made us lose the game, it’s the accumulation throughout the game that we have to get better at. We’ve been in a few close games now and hopefully, we’ll come out of one those here soon.”

Two of Crowder’s three losses this season have been by four points or less.

Northern Oklahoma-Enid entered the contest ranked sixth in the nation in scoring with nearly 92 points per game.

Crowder held the Lady Jets 31 points below their average and to their lowest scoring night in seven games this season.

“I told our kids that at times we had some breakdowns defensively,” Wilson said, “but to only give up 61 points is not a bad night defensively. …”

Wilson’s thoughts, however, drifted back to the offensive side.

“I don’t know what our shooting percentage was tonight, but I’m guessing it wasn’t great. Even though we did a pretty good job on the defensive end, we have got to do a better job from the field and from the line. We talk with our kids about shooting 75 to 80 percent from the free throw line.

“Had we done that tonight, we would have won and we talked about that at halftime. I think they were 4 for 6 at the line in the first half and we talked about not putting them on the line because they shoot 82 percent from the line at the team. When you look at their lineup, it’s like ‘Who do you want to foul?’ They’re all shooting it well. That’s why we chose to go ahead and get a defensive stop. We did get that defensive stop and we just couldn’t convert it on the other end.”

Crowder called a timeout in the front court and set up a final play.

“Had we had a broken floor situation, I would have let us play,” Wilson said, “but because they were in that zone, I decided to call timeout and try to set something up. We didn’t execute it like we needed to, but I told our kids that we played hard, we fought hard, and we gave ourselves a chance to win. Hopefully, this will help us in the long run and we learn how to execute and finish down the stretch.”

Crowder dropped to 5-3 on the season and Northern Oklahoma-Enid improved to 7-0.

White scored a game-high 17 points to pace Crowder, while Alex Vogt finished with 12 points and Michaela Mack sparked Crowder with nine points and eight rebounds. Mack hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer of the third quarter to give the Lady ‘Riders a 50-46 lead headed into the fourth.

Crowder did not capitalize early in the fourth and went scoreless the first 3 minutes, 56 seconds of the fourth as the Lady Jets took a 53-50 lead behind seven unanswered.

Crowder went back ahead 57-53 and later 59-56, but the Lady Jets made the big shots — none bigger than Gruber’s 3-pointer … on a previous possession, Gruber’s trifecta attempt rolled around and finally out.

Three Lady Jets scored in double-digits, led by Eurasia Brown with 15 and followed by Jacie Engler with 13 and Tanara Combs 12, all three of those players freshmen.

NORTHERN OKLAHOMA-ENID 61, CROWDER 60
NOC-Enid    11 17 18 15 — 61
Crowder    16 17 17 10 — 60
NORTHERN OKLAHOMA-ENID (7-0) — Kammi Gruber 6, Jacie Engler 13, McKenna Pulley 5, Euresia Brown 15, Andi Pierce 2, Tanara Combs 12, Taylor Sylvester 9.
CROWDER (5-3) — Coley Ickes 4, Tori Coulter 3, Maegan Bandimere 0, Aubrie Ayers 6, Michaela Mack 9, Morgan Crawford 6, Kaytee Frasher 3, Alex Vogt 12, Zahria White 17.
3-point goals — Northern Oklahoma-Enid 7 (Engler 3, Gruber 2, Combs 2), Crowder 2 (Frasher, Mack).