The Bulldogs erased a second half deficit, but Oxford regained control, resulting in a 68-60 win on the second the day of the O-Town Showdown last Saturday.
The two teams battled back and forth in the opening frame, with New Albany holding the 16-14 edge after a late basket by William Harding.
The Chargers took a double-digit lead in the second, starting the quarter on a 9-0 run to lead 23-16. Eric Chaney scored five of New Albany’s eight points in the quarter, making it 25-21, but three straight Charger baskets extended the lead to 10, 31-21.
Robert Franklin opened the third quarter with a three, but the Bulldogs again found themselves down 10 preceding a 12-0 run that tied the game at 41 on a basket by Harrison Harding. Oxford quickly regained the lead and led 46-41 entering the final quarter.
Led by seven points by Cortez Jones in the quarter, Oxford hit out scored New Albany 22-19 in the fourth to hold on for the win. The Chargers were led by Jones with 15 points, followed by 10 points from K.T. McCollins.
“Coach Tyler does a good job with those guys, and they did a good job of dictating the tempo of the game,” New Albany coach Brad Gray said.
“We want to play at a faster tempo, and they slowed it down, took time off the clock and turned it into a half court game. I think that hurt us a bit; got us out of tempo. It caused us to force shots and kept us on our heels, so credit them for controlling the tempo.”
Chaney led New Albany with 15 points, followed by 14 points from Franklin.
Next for the Bulldogs (9-6, 10-0) is a Friday night contest with Hickory Flat. New Albany will be back in division play on Jan. 11, traveling to Rosa Fort.
Gray said of the upcoming schedule, “We have to get better and hopefully get the year started off right and move on into division play.”
Lady Bulldogs defeat Coffeeville in tournament action
Jazmine Spears led the Lady Bulldogs with 30 points in a 74-62 win over Coffeeville last Friday. Anna Frances Stroud also helped New Albany, recording her first double-double of 17 points, 14 rebounds.
The Lady Bulldogs improve to 8-4 (1-0) on the year with the win.