SHAWNEE, Okla. – In a nail biter in the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament, the fourth-seeded Drovers came out on top of fifth-seeded Lubbock Christian 66-63 at Oklahoma Baptist’s Noble Complex in Shawnee.
“It was a good win. I knew it would be a tough game,” Head Coach Brisco McPherson said. “We did enough to pull it out, and we’ll play tomorrow and see how that goes.”
The tournament is a single elimination. USAO (17-8) will move on to play top-seed John Brown at 6 p.m. Friday, also at Oklahoma Baptist in Shawnee. JBU is ranked fourth in the latest NAIA Men's Basketball Poll.
The winner of the SAC Tournament receives an automatic bid into the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Tournament.
LCU will have to rely on an at-large bid to the NAIA National Tournament to continue post-season hopes.
After a comeback victory for the Drovers on Lubbock Christian’s Senior Day just last week, the Chaps were looking for revenge.
Early in the game with the intensity up, the lead went back-and-forth, changing five times. Beginning to command the lead toward the end of the half, Kenneth Durham dunked the ball to end the half with USAO’s largest lead of the night – 11 points.
Durham scored 10 points for the Drovers in just 10 minutes on the floor in the half. He had 12 points total in game.
It took nearly three-quarters of the second half for Lubbock Christian to come back, and the Chaps took a one-point lead with 5:45 left in the game.
Much like the first five minutes, the game again went back and forth for the final five minutes of the game and brought fans to the edge of their seats.
The Drovers were down by just one with 28.8 seconds left in the game, and they had control. Zacharias Lewis went up for a shot and is fouled. With 13.4 seconds left, he was at the line for two. He made both shots.
Lubbock Christian had 13.4 seconds to score, but a miscue on the LCU throw in gave the Drovers the ball back. A foul put Shavon Scott on the line for two. He also made both shots.
Now trailing by three, the Chaps went up for a long one with just second left, but the ball fell left, and the Drovers grabbed the rebound as time expired.
Lewis and Scott each had seven points in the game. Dejuan Lofton and Brandon Cutler led the team in scoring with 14 each. Cutler had a double-double, collecting 10 rebounds and helping with five assists.
Norris Rumph, who scored 31 points against LCU last week, was held to just four points.
The SAC Tournament is hosted by OBU. The championship game will be at 7 p.m. Saturday.