CHICKASHA- The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (11-11, 6-5 SAC) came into Thursday's game as one of the nations highest scoring teams, and they also have the nations highest scoring player in NAIA Division I. USAO and Taran Buie both lived up to their high scoring reputations, as they'd end up with the 97-83 victory over St. Gregory's (8-10, 4-7 SAC).
The first half was very even on the stat sheet, except for the Cavs committing 11 turnovers, which led to 9 points for the Drovers. The two teams were exchanging baskets back and forth for most of the first half, but in the final few minutes USAO extended their lead to 39-31. USAO was led offensively by Imani Edwards' 14 points in the first half, and Rodney Smith (SR/Chicago, Ill.) scored 17 points in the first half for the Cavs.
The Cavs started the second half on a 5-0 run to cut the Drovers' lead to only 3. However, that would be as close as the Cavs would get to the Drovers in the second half. Taran Buie, the nation's leading scorer, went off for 23 points in the second half and finished the game with 28 points. Julius Foster also had a big second half for USAO, by scoring 15 of his 21 points in the half.
The biggest difference in the game was that USAO finished the game shooting 54.8 percent from the field, and SGU finished the game shooting 46 percent. The rest of the game's stats are pretty even, but the Drovers simply knocked down more shots than the Cavs.
Taran Buie scored 28 points, and Julius Foster finished with 21 points. Imani Edwards scored 17 points, had 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. Hutch Peterson scored 11 points.
The Cavs were led offensively by Rodney Smith's 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Zachary Lemusu (SR/San Diego, Calif.) set new career highs in points, rebounds, and assists. Lemusu recorded a double-double, by scoring 12 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and dishing out 4 assists. Malik Barnett (JR/Midwest City, Okla.) scored a career high 15 points too. Jordan Rutherford (SR/Houston, Texas) scored 9 points and pulled down 6 rebounds for the Cavs.
The Cavaliers will return home to face Southwestern Christian University on Saturday afternoon at 5 PM.