**For Immediate Release**
Lady Aggies and Aggies Both Lose Final Game
- by Scott Puryear of OPSU Sports on 02/26/2007
Goodwell, Okla. - The men’s and women’s basketball teams representing the University of the Incarnate Word were in the Oklahoma Panhandle State gym on Saturday night and went up against the Aggies and the Lady Aggies. In the women’s game, the Lady Aggies came up just short in UIW’s 65-62 win, while the Aggies lost 76-57. It was the final game of the season for both OPSU teams.
At ceremonies in between the two games, Lady Aggie seniors Nina Kuleff and Val Boothe were honored, as was the lone senior on the men’s team, Oscar Castillo. The three-student athletes received plaques from school president Dave Bryant as well as from Athletic Director and Women’s Coach Jerry Olson. They also received rousing applause by the fans in attendance.
Curt Connor was also recognized prior to his final game as the OPSU men’s basketball coach. Connor had earlier announced that he is leaving OPSU to work in private business.
Incarnate Word 65, LADY AGGIES 62
With a steal by OPSU’s Val Boothe, then a great pass from Nina Kuleff to Megan Hamilton, then a three-point Hamilton rocket that was nothing but net – OPSU was out to a 3-0 lead with just 22 seconds gone in the game. Fans did not get much time to catch their breath after that because both the Lady Aggies and the Cardinals of the University of the Incarnate Word each went out for victory – which the Cardinals eventually claimed 65-62.
OPSU held a hard earned 33-29 advantage at halftime, but a big run in the early part of the second half put the Cardinals ahead by ten, 47-37, with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game. However, the Lady Aggies’ determined play got them right back into it, and after a Sedra Watkins jumper, OPSU trailed by just a single point at 51-50 with 7:10 remaining.
The final minutes of the game continued to see a determined effort from both teams and with 17 seconds left to play, the Cardinals held just a one point advantage at 63-62. However, a missed OPSU three-point attempt with four seconds remaining and a Cardinal free throw gave the visitors the 65-62 win.
Four Lady Aggies notched double figures in scoring, led by Kuleff’s 16 and Watkins’ 13. The hardworking pair of Alisha Sladek and Boothe each added ten. Boothe earned a team high seven rebounds and Kuleff was right behind with six boards. Bre Roberts scored four points and pulled down five rebounds.
It was the final college game appearance for both Kuleff and Boothe, two hardworking and dedicated seniors. Midway through the first half, Kuleff pulled down a rebound that moved her into third place on the all-time list for OPSU women’s basketball rebounding. Her accomplishment was announced and she received a nice round of applause. Kuleff finished her two year career at OPSU with 680 points and 484 rebounds.
The Lady Aggies ended their season 8-19.
Incarnate Word 76, AGGIES 57
Though the OPSU men’s team had the heart and the determination on Saturday night, they never really got on track on the scoreboard, and fell to the Cardinals of the University of the Incarnate Word, 76-57.
The Cardinals came out fast and held a 40-26 halftime lead.
The Aggies never let up through the entire contest against a very good team. Sophomore forward Luke Ogden played hard from the opening tip to the final buzzer and earned a team high 20 points and a game high ten rebounds.
OPSU’s talented LaChawn Anderson scored 17 points and though the season final statistics from the Heartland Conference will not be released until midweek – unofficial stats show that the 6’4 junior from Chicago has won the league scoring title with a 17.6 average.
Fred Durr scored nine points for the Aggies in just 19 minutes and had perhaps the most exciting shot block of the evening when he erased a Cardinal attempt, bringing the crowd to their feet.
Oscar Castillo played his final game for the Aggies, and the senior guard from Garden City, Kansas played with heart every second he was on the floor. He scored two points and a flashy pass he sent to a teammate resulted in a bucket.
The Aggies ended their season with a 7-20 record.