Aggies Fall to Ranked St. Edward’s by Ten
- By Scott Puryear of Aggie Sports 02-01-2008
Goodwell, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Panhandle State men’s basketball team entered the St. Edward’s court in Austin, Texas on Thursday night with victory on their minds. The Aggies brought a high powered offense that led the Heartland Conference in points per game (81.7). St. Edward’s opened the game in the first place spot in the league and there were plenty of fireworks during the fast paced match-up and St. Edward’s earned a 77-67 win.
St. Edward’s is the defending league champion and went into the game regionally ranked in the NCAA (Division II).
As expected, both teams came out shooting and OPSU guard Scott Hilton drilled a three-pointer to give the Aggies a 17-12 advantage with just under 12 minutes left before the intermission. Mark Bultman’s second of two consecutive deuces in traffic put the Aggies up 25-17 near the seven minute mark.
St. Edward’s fought back and the very good game was dead even at 35-35 at halftime.
The hot competition continued in the second half, and with eight minutes to go, the home team held an eight point margin (61-53).
The home crowd was into the game and very loud, and with 5:30 left, St. Edward’s led by ten points (66-56). However, there is not one bit of quit in this year’s Aggie team and they trailed by just 66-60 with 3:30 to play.
As time wound down, St. Edward’s showed why they are deserving of their high ranking and closed things out for their 15th win of the season, 77-67.
The OPSU season record fell to 8-10 overall (1-3 in the league), but they had nothing to be ashamed of in their performance against a very good team. St. Edwards upped their season record to 14-5 on the year (5-1 in the league).
Both teams shot 50% from the field in the game and OPSU won the battle of the boards, 31-30. The Aggies had 23 turnovers compared to 17 by St. Edward’s.
OPSU head coach Jerry Olson has always had great respect for the St. Edward’s program and he reflected that in his post game comments. He said they (St. Edward’s) do not make mistakes and they are very tough mentally. Olson added that the Aggies must continue to work hard and that they missed some easy shots down the stretch.
OPSU’s Will Stephenson entered the game as the leading scorer in the league with a 20.9 average, and scored 16 to go with nine rebounds. Fred Durr came up with 14 points, while LaChawn Anderson added ten points and came up with three steals. Bultman scored eight and Luke Ogden added nine.
The Aggies will be in San Antonio on Saturday to battle another tough Heartland Conference rival – St. Mary’s. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.