OPSU Basketball Fever is Contagious – 2
by Scott Puryear of Aggie Sports on 01/30/06
Goodwell, OK - Over the last few weeks in the Oklahoma
Panhandle State University gym, the fans have been having a
great deal of fun, the OPSU band (under Jason Berg) has been
performing some hot covers of 60’s and 70’s hits,
and the basketball has been hotter. In the last ten games,
the men’s and women’s teams have a combined record
of 9-1. The latest victims were on campus Friday, and both
the Aggies and the Lady Aggies were victorious over the teams
from St. Mary’s University.
Lady Aggies 74 St. Mary’s
The Lady Aggies of Oklahoma Panhandle State staged an exciting
come from behind 74-66 victory over St. Mary’s on Friday
in the OPSU gym. It was their fifth straight win and their
first ever victory over the Lady Rattlers in Heartland Conference
OPSU was anything but hot in the first
period with 29% shooting from the field, and St. Mary’s,
a traditional Heartland Conference contender, held a 38-29
advantage at half.
OPSU coach Jerry Olson had plenty to say to
his team during the break and they must have heard every word.
Though they fell a dozen points behind with 18:45 left in the
game, they went on a big time run and things were tied at 61
with five minutes to play.
Throughout the second half, OPSU’s fine
junior center, Nina Kuleff, effectively controlled things in
the paint. On the night, Kuleff had game highs in points (19)
and in rebounds (14).
The Lady Rattlers had a chance to stay in the game in the
final minutes, but they did not convert their free throw chances
while the Lady Aggies did.
Sarah Furgeson and Taneisha Rogers (neither one rattled at
all by Lady Rattlers) each dropped in a dozen points for OPSU
and that pair was key in the winning stretch run with big baskets,
assists and free throws.
With the win, the Lady Aggies upped their season record to
11-10 and stand in third place in the league with a 5-2 record
as they prepare for a run at the conference title.
Olson said the entire squad worked hard and
that every member of the team deserved credit for the win.
He added that the big buckets by Kuleff, Rogers and Furgeson
down the stretch were the offensive key to complement the good
OPSU second half defensive performance.
Furgeson (the freshman from Sudan, Texas) continues to draw
the praise of her coaches and Lady Aggie fans. To go with her
12 points, she snagged seven rebounds and handed out five assists.
Aggies 71 St. Mary’s
A bucket by forward William Preston staked Oklahoma Panhandle
State to a 2-0 lead thirty seconds into the game and the
Aggies were never behind in their 71-64 win over St. Mary’s
in the OPSU gym on Friday night.
Behind 57% shooting and a rugged defense,
the Aggies pushed their way to a 40-25 lead at the half.
St. Mary’s tried
hard to get back into things, but their efforts were stifled
as OPSU picked up their fourth straight victory.
St. Mary’s managed to cut the score to a single digit
deficit in the final minutes of the game, but the Aggies were
in control virtually all the way. No matter how many times
St. Mary’s adjusted their game plan, they could not handle
OPSU’s 6’9, 290-pound Aaron Harrison, who scored
a game high 24 points and added a game high 14 rebounds. Harrison
raised his per game rebound average to 10.7, which leads the
Heartland Conference. The Aggies were dominant on the boards
and held a 42-22 rebounding advantage.
Forward Nick Malinowski netted seven points for OPSU and had
eight rebounds, while guard Eddie Moss added ten points and
four boards. The dependable Preston scored 13 points, and playmaking
guard Tim Anderson scored eight, pulled down six rebounds and
handed out five assists.
The win evened the Aggie conference record at 3-3.
Both the Aggies and the Lady Aggies are
headed for extended road trips that will not put them back
on their home court until February 15 when they’ll each play the teams from
St. Edward’s University.