CHICKASHA – The sixth-seeded University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Drovers are set to face 11th-seed Southwestern Christian in a Wednesday afternoon play-in game for the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament.
The teams tip off at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Oklahoma Baptist. It is the first men’s match up of the tournament.
The tournament, which runs March 5-8 at Oklahoma Baptist, is single-elimination style, culminating with the championship at 7 p.m. Saturday.
If the Drovers win on Wednesday, they go on to play third-seeded Saint Gregory’s at 8 p.m. Thursday.
"There's a lot of parity tis year," said Head Coach Vinson Metcalf. "If you're not ready to play, you'll get beat. But we have a chance just like everybody else. Four games is four nights will be tough, but it can be done."
The teams were seeded first through 11th based on regular season performance in conference games. The top five teams earn a bye, while the other teams battle in “play in” games on Wednesday.
The Drovers secured their sixth seed in a tie breaker over John Brown for having a stronger record this season against NAIA Top 25 teams.
The winner of the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament receives an automatic bid to the 2014 NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship tournament.
The Drovers have swept the Eagles this season, taking the first game by four on the road before winning the second 103-97 at the USAO Fieldhouse.
The Drovers were led the both games by Jahseth Lloyd, who scored 18 points in January’s game and followed the performance with 26 in February.
In the late-February game, Shavon Scott and Tyler Reynolds each had 20 or more points to help lead the Drovers to their season-high 103 points. In that game, the Drovers shot nearly 55 percent from the field.
Both teams are strong scorers beyond the arc. The Eagles rank second in the NAIA in threes made per game (10.6) and fourth in total three-pointers at 286. The Drovers are 14th in three-pointers made per game (8.11) and 22nd in total threes (219).
Watching the Game
Fans are encouraged to make the drive to OBU’s campus in Shawnee, which is about an hour and a half highway drive from Chickasha. Tickets at the door are $10 for general admissions or $5 for students with a valid ID.
USAO Student Services teamed up with Communications and Marketing to host an annual Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Watch Party, which is free and open to all students, faculty, staff and community members.
This year’s party will take place in the Drovers Den in the basement of the Student Center and will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday to watch the women’s game, which is immediately before the men’s game. The event will extend through the end of the men’s game.
Fans also are welcome to view the game themselves via Game Central by Stretch Internet courtesy of host school, Oklahoma Baptist. The cost is $10 per game or $50 for the all-tournament pass.
2013-14 Sooner Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament
March 5-8, 2014
At Oklahoma Baptist University
4 p.m. - #6 Science & Arts of Oklahoma (13-14) vs. #11 Southwestern Christian (6-21)
6 p.m. - #8 Oklahoma Baptist (15-15) vs. #9 Texas Wesleyan (15-15)
8 p.m. - #7 John Brown (20-10) vs. #10 Northwood (9-21)
4:30 p.m. - #4 Oklahoma City (16-11) vs. #5 Mid-America Christian (16-10)
6:15 p.m. - #1 Southwestern Assemblies of God (26-4) vs. OBU-TWU winner
8 p.m. - #3 St. Gregory’s (21-8) vs. USAO/SCU winner
9:45 p.m. - #2 Wayland Baptist (21-9) vs. JBU/NU winner
6 p.m. – OCU-MACU winner vs. SAGU/OBU-TWU winner
8 p.m. - SGU/USAO-SCU winner vs.WBU/JBU-NW winner
7 p.m. - Championship