**For Immediate Release**
OPSU Basketball Splits Two with St. Mary’s
- by Scott Puryear of OPSU Sports on 02/23/2007
Goodwell, Okla. - One had to look no further than the Oklahoma Panhandle State gym on Thursday night for some exceptionally fine college basketball. The men’s and women’s teams from St. Mary’s University were at OPSU and the Lady Aggies won their contest 76-68, while the Aggies lost a heartbreaker in overtime, 57-55.
LADY AGGIES 76, St. Mary’s 68
There were two very different halves in the contest between the OPSU women and St. Mary’s. The first half started slowly with neither team shooting particularly well and some rough and tumble defense added in. The second half was an old fashioned shootout, and the Lady Aggies were up to the task and won both halves as well as the game, 76-68.
Both teams opened the game methodically and played a rugged brand of defense. The Lady Aggies held a 28-22 advantage at the break.
In the second half, offense quickly became the key and 94 total points were scored. The Lady Aggies pulled ahead by as many as 13 points and refused to give up on the way to their eighth win of the year.
Alisha Sladek led the way for the Lady Aggies from her guard spot with 14 points, six rebounds and three very big steals. Megan Hamilton and Sarah Polson each dropped in 13 points.
Senior center Val Boothe scored nine and pulled down a game high nine rebounds while Sedra Watkins, another dependable senior, scored seven and earned seven rebounds. The third OPSU senior, Nina Kuleff, came off the bench and scored seven points to go along with six rebounds. Ro Wilson knocked down eight points in just ten minutes on the floor.
It was a fine victory for the Lady Aggies – now 8-18 on the year – and ten of their players scored in the big win.
St. Mary’s 57, AGGIES 55 (Overtime)
In a rugged defensive battle between two very athletic teams, the regulation 40 minutes was not enough to decide the victor. With the score tied at 51 each at the start of the five minute overtime period, both teams played with heart and courage. With the game tied at 55-55 with just four seconds left in the overtime, St. Mary’s Marcus Hill canned a jumper to give his team the 57-55 win.
OPSU’s LaChawn Anderson led all scorers with 18 points, his per game average, and teammate Will Stephenson had a fine “double-double” with 14 points and a game high 14 rebounds. Both Anderson and Stephenson are juniors.
Sophomore forward Luke Ogden, establishing himself as one of the toughest players in the Heartland Conference, scored 11 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Aggies. OPSU’s only senior - Oscar Castillo - scored six points.
At game’s end, the weariness of the players from both teams was quite noticeable, and they congratulated each other on the intense, but very clean contest.
With the loss, the Aggies fell to 7-19 on the season.