SHAWNEE – The Drovers took their first step toward the Sooner Athletic Conference Championship, winning game one of the SAC tournament on Wednesday with a 76-66 final over Southwestern Christian.
“The first win is the hardest win,” Drover Head Coach Vinson Metcalf said. “We’d already been Southwestern Christian twice, and it’s hard to beat a team three times. The team did what they’re supposed to do.”
The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (14-14) goes on to play third-seeded Saint Gregory’s at 8 p.m. Thursday at Oklahoma Baptist’s Noble Complex. The winner of the SAC Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship tournament.
“I will take my team against anybody in the conference,” Metcalf said. “We will go out there and see where we stand, and I like our chances.”
After securing the lead three minutes into the first half, the Drovers went into halftime with the 43-25 advantage. In the first half alone, USAO shot 53 percent from the field and sunk five three pointers to build their lead.
USAO maintained a lead throughout the second half, despite allowing the Eagles to narrow the gap to 10 points before the final buzzer.
Senior Tyler Reynolds, who had 17 points in the first half alone, ended the game with 24 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and four steals, leading the Drovers in all four categories.
“Tyler didn’t get any conference accolades so I think tonight, he went out to prove that he is one of the players in the conference,” Metcalf said.
Jahseth Lloyd had 14 points and six rebounds in the game while Shavon Scott went 5-for-9 from the field for 12 points. Donnie Brown had 10 points.
Fans can follow second-round of the SAC Tournament via live stats or video using the links available on the conference’s website.