Aggies Battle to Three Point Win Over Dallas Baptist
- By Scott Puryear of Aggie Sports 01-28-2008
Goodwell, Okla. -- Entering Saturday night’s game with a five game losing streak (each of them by ten points or less) the Oklahoma Panhandle State men’s basketball team knew they had to stand tall. Standing very tall and very proud is exactly what they did as they battled their way to an 82-79 win over a good Dallas Baptist team.
The game matched two quick and athletic squads and the Aggies came out of the blocks fast to start the game and held a 25-15 lead after the first eight minutes. However, and aided in large measure by a 15-0 run, DBU took a 48-43 advantage to the halftime break.
The game remained close through the entire second half and DBU led by slim margins all the way to 2:50 left on the clock. It was then that OPSU’s splendid Will Stephenson nailed a gutsy three-point bomb to tie the score at 72 each.
A pair of free throws by Luke Ogden and a cat quick layup by Stephenson put the Aggies ahead at 80-76 with 16.2 seconds remaining. However, a clutch three by DBU’s Braxton Adamson cut the OPSU lead to 80-79 with 3.5 seconds left.
With 1.5 seconds left, OPSU’s LaChawn Anderson was fouled and stepped to the line and calmly drilled both charity shots.
The Aggies had lost two nights earlier on a buzzer beating shot by UT-Permian Basin and they were not about to let that happen again. DBU was able to get a potential game tying shot in the air as time expired, but it was well off the mark.
The 82-79 OPSU win was a well deserved one and many fans stayed in the stands or on the floor for quite some time after the game, savoring the good work by the Aggies.
Statistically, the game was a tight one in almost every category, but a stat that had plenty of impact was OPSU’s 24-30 free throw shooting compared to DBU’s 13 of 17. The biggest Aggie free throws came down the stretch with the game on the line.
Stephenson led the Aggies with game highs in scoring (23) and rebounds (11). Anderson was right behind with 21 points, Fred Durr chipped in 18 points and Ogden added 16. Guard Chuck Salisbury did not score but took very good care of the ball, dished out eight assists and had a pair of seals. Anderson hit nine of his ten foul shots, Stephenson was perfect in five tries, and Durr hit all four of his attempts. DBU’s 6’9 Manny Montano, a big man with a soft touch, led his team with 20 points
The Aggies had lost their last three games by a total of six points. Post game, OPSU head coach Jerry Olson said he never took his eyes off DBU’s final second attempt at a game tying bucket until the ball hit the floor. “I was hoping that it wouldn’t hit the lights or bounce off one of the speakers and fall through the net,” he said with a grin. The veteran coach was very pleased with his team and the win.
The Aggie season record jumped to 8-9 with the victory. They currently stand tied for fifth in the tough Heartland Conference with a 1-2 record, but they have the opportunity to make a major move in their two games next week in Texas. On Thursday, they’ll be in Austin against first place St. Edward’s (4-1), and on Saturday in San Antonio they will go against second place St. Mary’s (3-1).