Aggies Lose Twice in Weekend Tournament
- by Scott Puryear of OPSU Sports on 11/26/07
Goodwell, Okla. - The Oklahoma Panhandle State men’s basketball team was part of a very tough tournament lineup in Colorado Springs over the weekend. The Aggies went against the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs on Friday and Adams State on Saturday and dropped two hard fought games.
UC–Colorado Springs 88, AGGIES 81
A pair of very athletic teams went after each other on Friday night as the Aggies tangled with UC-Colorado Springs. Each team had some big runs during the exciting contest, won by UCCS 88-81.
It was a wild one in the first half with the Aggies trailing by as many as nine points before staging a furious rally in the closing minutes to earn a 38-38 tie at the halftime break.
The Aggies came out fired up for the second half and with a good run took the lead at 56-45. During the run, Will Stephenson scored eight points and LaChawn Anderson scored six. However, a talented UCCS squad fought back to cut the margin to 56-54 with just over 13 minutes left to play and soon took a 57-54 lead on a three pointer.
UCCS increased their advantage to 70-62 with just over seven minutes to play, but OPSU’s Fred Durr soon nailed a three pointer to take the score to 70-65.
The Aggies began to falter and with five minutes left to play and with UCCS leading 75-67, OPSU coach Jerry Olson called a timeout. For the rest of the way, the game was very physical but the Aggies could get no closer than six points as UCCS earned the 88-81 victory.
Stephenson led the Aggies with 25 points. Anderson added 21, Durr scored 14, and Basil Laslie put in ten. Luke Ogden grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, while Durr and Stephenson each had three assists and three steals.
Olson was not happy with the Aggie performance, especially as time wound down. He said, “We have got to get a lot smarter and we made far too many mistakes to win the game.” Olson also emphasized that he thought his team’s play down the stretch was “Pathetic.”
Adams State 84, AGGIES 78
On Saturday – and still in Colorado Springs - the Aggies went against a good Adams State team in a game between a pair of evenly matched and athletic teams. Though the Aggies lost 84-78, it was a very tight contest with the score tied nine times with ten lead changes.
Each team took charge on different occasions in the opening half, and the advantage changed hands several times in a very fast paced game. In the final minutes before halftime, things were very physical under the boards and though OPSU’s Basil Laslie came off the bench and knocked down a two-pointer with three seconds to go, OPSU went to the lockers behind 43-40. OPSU’s excellent All-Conference guard - LaChawn Anderson - scored 16 points in the opening half.
As the second half opened, all in attendance and listening over the airwaves anticipated plenty of excitement . . . . and that is exactly what they got.
With just over two minutes gone, OPSU’s Luke Ogden drilled a two-pointer and things were tied at 44-44. The Aggies were up 55-53 with 12:20 left to play in the game, but Adams State was staying with them all the way and at the ten minute mark, they held a one point advantage (58-57) over the Aggies.
As the game clock wound down, Adams State continued to work hard, but the Aggies worked equally hard to stick with them, and with four minutes left, Adams State held a 74-69 advantage.
Though the Aggies hustled right up to the final buzzer, Adams State got the 84-78 victory.
Anderson led the way for the Aggies with 23 points while Fred Durr and Laslie scored 15 and 13, respectively. Will Stephenson scored 11 to go with eight rebounds. Ogden scored nine to go with five rebounds and guard Chuck Salisbury has five assists and four steals.
For the two games in the tournament, Aggie coach Jerry Olson was especially high on the play of both Anderson and Stephenson. Olson also noted that both opposing teams had held their own in early season going with some very good Division I college basketball squads. He added, “We made too many mistakes in both games, but I was pleased with our overall effort, especially on Saturday.”
Despite the two losses, Olson also said that he feels the Aggies have a chance to be a very good team.
The Aggies (now 1-2 on the season) will be on the road again on Wednesday night, when they head to Portales to play Eastern New Mexico State.