Men's Basketball Plays Thrilling Final GameBy Laura Nelson on 03/02/2013 Dallas—The Oklahoma Panhandle State men's basketball team played their final season game against Dallas Baptist University Saturday afternoon, and after the Patriots beat them by three at home early in the season, the Aggies hoped to return the favor.
Michael Patterson made a jump shot to put OPSU on the board first and DBU answered right back to tie it up. The Aggies started having trouble scoring and with just over 10 minutes left in half one, they were down 22-9, but they did not know the meaning of quit. Kysahn Sands made a layup and a free throw and T. J. Farrell followed that with a trey. A dunk from Tavien Rosemond and another layup from Carlos Tapia-Ponce put OPSU back to within five with 8:16 left. The Patriots scored another 14 points and held the Aggies to only seven to end the first half ahead, 38-26.
When the game started again, OPSU held DBU scoreless in the first three minutes. Damar Hill netted a three-pointer, Patterson hit two free throws and then a trey to get within four points of the Patriots. The Aggies were within two with five minutes gone in the second half, but the Patriots still maintained the lead, going ahead by 11 with 10 minutes left. OPSU continued to work and Hill tied the score at the 6:36 mark with an inside jump shot. The home team made a layup and Patterson answered with his own layup to tie it again at 60 all. DBU's Nick Fox made a layup and Randolph came right back with a three for the Aggies to take a one point lead. As the battle continued, the Aggies had a four point lead with four minutes remaining in the game, but DBU tied it up at 68 with 2:13 left. With only 16 seconds left, Patterson hit a jumper to tie the score at 72, but an unfortunate Aggie foul sent Jonathan Perry to the line and he made both charity shots. Hill tried a three-pointer at the buzzer, but it did not fall and OPSU lost, 74-72.
OPSU's field goal percentage raised from 28 in the first half to 52 in the second half and they also made 30 points in the paint. DBU's Jason Gentry led the scoring with 17. For the Aggies, Patterson scored 16 and brought down six rebounds, Randolph and Hill each had 14 points, and Bill Lee grabbed an amazing 12 rebounds and scored five points. The men end their season 5-23 overall and 1-11 in the Heartland Conference while DBU improved to 11-15, 7-7 HC.
Assistant Victor Esparza took on the coaching duties for the game as head coach Jerry Olson was away to attend services for a family member who had passed away. Esparza said, "The guys fought hard the whole game and did not give up. I'm really proud of their work and the fact that they brought such a great effort into the last game of the year. I wish our seniors the best as they move on and it was great coaching them this year." Esparza went on to say that this was the fourth time he had stepped in for Olson and said, "I learned from the best, so I'm confident. We did exactly what he would expect from us as a team."