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SCU Sends Aggies Home Empty-Handed

Released by Panhandle State Sports Information on 12/15/2017

Bethany, Okla.—The Southwestern Christian University Eagles added two conference wins to their records Thursday evening, defeating both Panhandle State basketball teams in Sooner Athletic Conference action. Despite two strong second-half efforts by the Aggies, the women's team fell 61-54 and the men were edged out 89-86.

Panhandle's head women's basketball coach Victor Esparza stated, "We got off to a bad start and it was hard for us to recover. In the second half, we got back into it and just couldn't get over the hump." The Aggie women were held to single-digit scoring in periods one and two, totaling nine points in each of the first two quarters. The team trailed 24-18 going into the break, but battled to score 13 points in the third and 23 in the fourth.

Senior forward Madison Dearmin gained the game-high in scoring with 14 points, 12 coming after halftime. Junior Monti Regier collected all 12 of her points off long-distance shots, sinking four of the team's five total three-point baskets. Addison Munsch added ten points for Panhandle and offered a game-high of four assists. For the game, the Aggies averaged 36.5 percent from the field, 27.8 percent from three-point range and 84.6 percent at the line. The team totaled 20 turnovers in the game, leading to 12 points for the Eagles.

The two teams were evenly matched at the boards with the Aggies posting 31 rebounds in the game; the Eagles took down 29 boards. Junior Hannah Faulks was the backboard leader for Panhandle State with seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Munsch totaled six boards followed by Dearmin with five; Morgan Latta and Tierra Roberson also brought down five rebounds apiece for the Aggies.

Now holding a 7-2 season record, Esparza went on to say, "This was a tough loss to swallow for many reasons. It was a good semester for us, but we have to come back and get better and work even harder after the break." He concluded with a message for the Aggie fans, "We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope to see all of our fans at our next home game on January 11."

The Aggie men also got off to a slow start, falling behind by a 13-point margin (27-14) midway through the first half. They nudged within seven points of their opponents to trail 47-40 at halftime. Jaedon Whitfield and Tyler Pate opened second-half scoring with back-to-back threes, and two made free throw shots by DK Sumo sent the Aggies into the lead 51-50 within the first two minutes after the break. The second half saw six score-ties, but the Aggies went 0-4 in the final minutes of the game and fell by three points in the end.

Junior Jace Kerr came away with the game-high in scoring with 30 points; Kerr amassed 13 points off 16 free throw attempts. Tyler Pate totaled 25 points for Panhandle and led the game with five successful three-pointers. Whitfield was back to his double-double days notching his ninth of the season with 15 rebounds and 12 points; Whitfield also contributed defensively with one block and one steal. Off the bench, freshman Thomas Ellis earned his keep with seven points, four boards and one assist.

The Eagles outmatched the Aggies in rebounds 43-27, and cleaned up 13 boards on offense to score 12 points on second-chance shots. SCU scored 19 points off Aggie turnovers and led in the paint with 38 points. Panhandle State put up 20 points in the paint, 11 off turnovers and three second-chance points.

Head men's coach Jerry Olson was proud of his team's effort commenting after the game, "Our guys played their hearts out. Southwestern Christian has 12 seniors and a lot of experience. We had three chances to take the lead at the end but came up short. We missed 14 free throws which hurt us, but I'm so proud of the effort we displayed. This is a great group of young men; they never give up."

With a 6-3 record on the season, the men's team will not compete in SAC play until after the New Year. The Aggies last match of 2017 is an exhibition game at the University of New Orleans in Louisiana on Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. The women's team also meets in an exhibition game on Dec. 30 at North Texas in Denton at 3 p.m. Both off-schedule games can be viewed via live stats and video streaming online, with links available at opsuaggies.com on the sport schedule pages.