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Aggies Downed by Drovers
 

Released by Panhandle State Sports Information on 12/02/2018 Beverly Hintergardt photo Beverly Hintergardt photo

Goodwell, Okla.—Panhandle State men's basketball fell in a hard-fought conference contest, defeated 74-68 by the University of Science and Arts-Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon.

The Aggies held the upper hand throughout the first 20 minutes of play and owned a 32-30 lead going into halftime. They gained as much as a six-point advantage (39-33) in the second half, but the Drovers went on an 11-point run to shift momentum in their favor and swing a five-point lead (44-39) at the 13:50 mark. Baris Ulker resuscitated Aggie spirits by landing three straight shots to edge a two-point lead with ten minutes remaining in the game (52-50). Back-to-back threes by the Drovers brought USAO back ahead and they would hold the lead throughout the final nine minutes of play.

Ulker and teammate Alan Hodge Jr. led the game in scoring; Ulker finished with 21 points and Hodge held the game-high with 24 total points. Ulker marked his fourth double-double of the season with a game-high of 11 rebounds; Hodge was one shy of the double-digit milestone with nine boards in the game. In addition, Ulker led with two blocks and Hodge had a game-high of six assists. DK Sumo contributed nine points for Panhandle and brought down five rebounds with four assists.

Panhandle averaged 40.6 percent shooting for the game, while USAO fired at over 51 percent from the field. The Aggies struggled from three-point range, landing just 7-of-31 long-distance shots (22.6 percent); their opponents averaged 40 percent on treys. At the line the Aggies were near perfect, connecting on 9-of -10 free throw attempts. The Drovers averaged 75 percent at the line.

Head Coach Aaron commented on the performance. "I'm very disappointed in the outcome of the game. I thought USAO did some things that really gave us some issues." Coombs conceded, "This was by far our worst night shooting the basketball this year; but on nights like tonight we have to find a way to score inside and get to the free throw line." The Aggies were outscored 38-22 in the paint and 15-9 on points off turnovers.

Coach Coombs continued, "I also feel like at times tonight we played very selfish and got away from what we have done this year on the offensive side of the ball." Finding a positive perspective Coombs adds, "We will break down the film and really try to learn from our mistakes going forward. I welcome the break from games to allow our team to get healthy and focus on improving some things on the offensive side." He concludes, "Congratulations to USAO, I thought they came in with a great game plan and executed it very well down the stretch. They were the better team tonight."

The Aggies hold a 6-2 season record and sit 1-1 in the Sooner Athletic Conference. The team travels to Arkadelphia, Ark. on Tuesday, Dec. 4 for an exhibition game against Henderson State, and then re-enters conference play Dec. 13 and 15 with road games at Langston and Central Christian College. Live stats and video streaming links for away games are offered online at opsuaggies.com.