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OCU Overtakes Aggies in SAC Road Show

Released by Panhandle State Sports Information on 01/21/2018

Oklahoma City—Aggie Basketball records dropped to 10-7 as both the Panhandle State women and men's teams fell to nationally-ranked Oklahoma City University Saturday afternoon. The Aggie women struggled from the start against the No. 8 Stars and took a 74-48 loss; the men's team faced a No. 14-ranked OC team that claimed a 29-point victory (93-64) over the visiting Aggies.

The Panhandle State women were held to just 14 points over the first two periods of play, and went into halftime down 44-14. The Aggies put up a big third quarter performance, outscoring the Stars 27-10 to pull within nine points as they entered the fourth quarter. OCU went on to own the final ten minutes by outshooting the Aggies with a 50 percent field goal percentage to Panhandle State's 16.7 percent. The Stars totaled 35 points off turnovers for the game and allowed just eight to the Aggies.

Head Coach Victor Esparza felt the slow start put his team in a bad position from the get-go, but was pleased to see his team fight through the adversity. "I'm proud of them for coming out in the second half and battling. We cut the lead single digits, but just ran out of energy." Esparza added, "It takes a lot to get back into the game after being down by 32. We just have to continue to get better and find ways to make the offense easier."
Sophomore Addison Munsch led the Lady Aggies in scoring and rebounds with nine points and a game-high of 11 boards in the game. Starters Morgan Latta and Monti Regier each finished with seven points, and sophomore Shambri Kelso added nine points off the bench. OCU's Daniella Galindo held the game-high in scoring with 26 points and led the game in steals with six.

The men's team went into the game minus one starter, as junior Jace Kerr, the team's leading scorer, is out on an injury. The Aggies' second-highest point contributor, senior Tyler Pate, was taken out at halftime after sustaining an injury at the end of the first period. Head Men's Basketball Coach Jerry Olson saw that as opportunities for other guys to step up.

The Aggies kept things within reach throughout most of the first half, but fell behind by 14 points at the 4:19 mark before halftime. They opened the second half trailing by just nine points (41-32), and pulled within six points of the Stars early in the period. Olson recanted, "We had a chance to cut it down to three or four points and turned the ball over." OCU broke into a 21-point lead midway through the second half, and the Aggies failed to find the rhythm required to shift momentum in their favor.

Despite playing just half of the 40-minute contest, Pate stood as the team-leader in scoring with 16 points over 19 minutes of playing time. OCU's Terence Bonhomme held the game-high with 21 points. Coach Olson felt that OCU defended very well as the Aggies were beaten at the boards 46-34. Panhandle's leading rebounder Jaedon Whitfield fell one rebound shy of a double-double at nine boards and 13 points. Whitfield led the game in assists with five, dishing shots to DK Sumo and Jerrell Doorbal who put up eight points apiece for Panhandle.

For the game, Oklahoma City averaged 50 percent shooting from the field, 41.7 percent beyond the arc and over 81 percent in free throws. "That is one talented team," Olson expressed. "They really hurt us inside and, how they ever lost four league games is ludicrous." The Aggies averaged a 41.5 percent shooting percentage for the game but struggled in long-distance shots and free throw attempts, landing just 5-25 shots beyond the arc and holding a 29.4 percent average at the line.

Originally scheduled to host a Thursday night matchup against Saint Gregory's this week, the Aggies will each add forfeit wins against the Cavaliers whose programs were shut down when the school was forced to close its doors in December. Panhandle State basketball will take the court at Anchor D Arena in the Oscar Williams Field House for a Sooner Athletic Conference double-header against Southwestern Christian on Saturday, Jan. 27.

Saturday will be an FCA Gameday for area groups and members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization. A praise and worship service will take place at the Hughes Strong Auditorium from 1:30-2:30 p.m. prior to the women's contest which begins at three. Students, staff, fans and friends are all welcome to join in the fellowship event and those who pre-registered and purchased FCA Gameday t-shirts will receive free admission into both Aggie Basketball games that day. Free popcorn will also be offered at the concession stands, and special halftime contests and recognitions will take place during the games.