SHAWNEE – A strong performance by the Drovers led to another Sooner Athletic Conference tournament win as they upset the third-seeded, nationally-ranked Saint Gregory’s Cavaliers 78-74 on Thursday night at Oklahoma Baptist.
The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (15-14) goes on to play Wayland Baptist in the semifinals 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. No. 17 SGU will have to rely on an at-large bid to the national tournament.
“They are not ready to quit playing,” USAO Head Coach Vinson Metcalf said. “I was proud of their effort. We guarded them, and we forced them to slow their tempo. I feel that was key.”
The first half was a back-and-forth battle, but the Drovers had secured the four-point advantage by halftime after grabbing nine offensive rebounds for 11 second-chance points.
In the second half, the Cavs fought tough, bringing the game within four but the Drovers were able to maintain their lead for the remaining 20 minutes of action.
David Tucker, Jr., who had 12 points in the first half alone, led the team with 20 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
“It’s different guys on different nights,” Metcalf said. “The makeup of this team, it is going to be a different player each night.”
Tyler Reynolds had 17 points, three assists and two steals. USAO’s Kennis White had 14 points and led the team in rebounding with nine boards.
Leading the Cavs were Marty Wilkerson and Tilford Thornton, who each had 18 points.
Fans can follow semifinal of the SAC Tournament via live stats or video using the links available on the conference’s website.
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
8 p.m. - #3 St. Gregory’s (21-8) vs. USAO
9:45 p.m. - #2 Wayland Baptist (21-9) vs. JBU
6 p.m. – MACU vs. OBU
8 p.m. - USAO vs.WBU
7 p.m. - Championship