Aggies Dump Conference Leader St.
by Scott Puryear of OPSU Sports on 2/11/07
Goodwell, Okla. - In Austin,
Texas on Saturday evening, the Oklahoma Panhandle State
men’s basketball squad had the unenviable task of
playing on the home court of a very good college basketball
team - St. Edward’s University. The Hilltoppers entered
the contest atop the Heartland Conference and carrying a
season record of 17 wins against just four losses.
In order to challenge the Hilltoppers, the Aggies - beginning
the game with a 6-17 record - knew they would have to put
up a good fight, and that is exactly what they did for the
full 40 minutes as they hammered out a 63-62 victory.
The game was just about everything a college basketball
fan could ask for.
OPSU came out very tough and held an 11-8 lead in the early
going, thanks to nine quick points by forward Will Stephenson.
The Aggies held a 21-16 advantage with just under nine minutes
to go in the first half; however, a wild flurry by St. Edward’s
put them in a 23-23 tie with just under five minutes left.
There were ten ties and ten lead changes and by the halftime
break, everyone needed a deep breath from the exciting action.
In the first half alone, OPSU’s junior duo of Stephenson
and LaChawn Anderson had each scored a dozen and sophomore
Luke Ogden had registered ten rebounds. When the teams went
to the locker rooms, the Aggies were ahead 30-28.
Using an 11-player rotation, St. Edwards mustered several
challenges, but each time the Aggies were there with resolve
and the score stood 37-33 in favor of OPSU with 16 minutes
left in the game.
Defense took over the game for the next several minutes,
but the intensity continued and with 8:45 remaining, the
score stood OPSU 46 - St. Edward’s 46.
St. Edward’s showed their own brand of determination
and at the five minute mark, they led the Aggies by four
points at 54-50, but a fast bucket by Stephenson got it
to 54-52 and after a flurry of action over the next two
minutes, the Aggies reclaimed the lead at 57-56.
With 40 seconds left and St. Edward’s ahead again,
60-59, OPSU coach Curt Connor called a timeout and soon
after, Anderson coolly drilled a three-point rocket to put
the Aggies back on top, 62-60, with 28 seconds to play.
St. Edward’s got a two-point bucket as time expired,
but it was not enough. Oklahoma Panhandle State 63, St.
It was a great team-oriented win for the Aggies, who also
won the battle of the boards, 40 rebounds to 26.
Anderson continues to be the hottest player in the Heartland
Conference with 28 points in the game and the junior has
averaged almost 27 points in his last five outings. Stephenson
knocked down 21 points with a solid nine for 15 from the
The 6’5 Ogden - a very tough inside player - hauled
down 13 rebounds to go with his six points and Stephenson
and Anderson snared 12 and eight rebounds, respectively.
It was a great win for the Aggies and a great win for Connor,
who is retiring from coaching at the end of the season.
The Aggies will get a well-deserved few days off before
they travel to Jefferson City, Missouri next Saturday for
a clash with Lincoln University.