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Aggie and Lady Aggie Sports
Scott Puryear, Sports Information Director
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, OK 73939
580-349-1340 scottp@opsu.edu

 

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From left Tim Anderson, Eddie Moss, Nick Malinowski, Aaron Harrison and William Preston

**For Immediate Release**
Aggies Hammer Montana State-Billings, 80-60
by Aggie Sports on 02/23/06

Goodwell, Okla. - The Montana State University-Billings men’s basketball team came into the Oklahoma Panhandle State gym on Wednesday aiming to clinch first place in the Heartland Conference. They left Goodwell quietly a few hours later after being hammered by the Aggies, 80-60.

It was a great team effort by OPSU, led by their starting five. All seniors, the starters include Tim Anderson and Eddie Moss (guards), Aaron Harrison (center), and with Nick Malinowski and William Preston (forwards).

The Yellowjackets entered the game as the second highest scoring team in the country in NCAA Division II with a 98.8 point per game average in conference action. The OPSU defense held them to nearly 40 points less than their average with an outstanding effort.

OPSU came out fast in the first half, shooting 53% from the field and playing tenacious defense. Aggie guard Anderson was a 5’10, 185-pound stick of dynamite in the opening period, scoring 11 points and making big plays at both ends of the court. A visibly stunned MSUB squad, with an overall record of 19-4 going into the game, went to the halftime break trailing 48-26.

The Aggies came out for the second half equally determined and never let their opponents get any closer than 16 points (71-55 with 6:45 left to play). An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed every minute of the victory as OPSU upped their conference record to 6-5 and grabbed an inside track to a conference playoff berth. With the loss, MSUB slipped into a tie for first place in the league with St. Edward’s, a team the Aggies beat 61-60 last week in Goodwell.

There were several great performances for OPSU. Preston was outstanding, leading all scorers with 21 points and pulling down eight rebounds. A determined Anderson scored 16 on the night and fought his way through much taller players for seven rebounds.

Moss was held to five points (eight below his average), but his pinpoint passing resulted in ten assists. The inside duo of Malinowski and Harrison was a huge factor, as Harrison scored a dozen and wiped the boards for a game high nine rebounds, and Malinowski scored 11 and snared eight rebounds.

Brandon Woods, OPSU’s 6’9 freshman center, gave fans a good glimpse of the future with six points (making all three of his shot attempts) and snagging three rebounds in 11 minutes on the court.

The top four teams in the league qualify for the post season playoffs. MSUB and St. Edward’s have clinched the top two spots, and both have 9-2 records with one game left to play. The Aggies, St. Mary’s, and Western New Mexico are in a dead heat for third with 6-5 records, and each also has one game left. The Aggies will go against Lincoln on Friday, who lost to Western New Mexico 86-72 on Wednesday.

It should be a big night for the Aggies on Friday as they will play their final regular season home game. It will be a part of a men’s and women’s double header and through the sponsorship of EPIC TOUCH, the game will offered free to the public.

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