SHAWNEE – Oklahoma Baptist continued to strengthen its position in the Great American Conference men's basketball race with a 79-61 victory over visiting Ouachita Baptist Saturday afternoon.
The win improved the Bison to 6-6 overall and 5-1 in league play where they remain tied with Southern Nazarene, Arkansas Monticello and Southern Arkansas for the top spot.
The Bison continue conference play traveling to face Harding on Thursday, Jan. 10 and conclude its road swing with a matchup at Arkansas Tech on Saturday, Jan. 12. OBU's next home game is Thursday, Jan. 17 against in-state rival and defending GAC champion Southern Nazarene.
Harrison Stoddart and Tyler Lester each scored 16 points to lead the Bison. They were joined in double figures by teammate Antonio Wade who added 14.
OBU carried a comfortable double-digit lead throughout much of the second half and kept the Tigers at a safe distance throughout. OBU's biggest lead was 20 points with 8:21 remaining. Ouachita cut the margin to 11 on two occasions. An emphatic slam by Davion Turner with 2:49 to play gave the Bison a 19-point lead at 75-56.
The Bison shook free from a sluggish start that saw them down 15-2 after just four minutes of play. Lester scored the next five points and kickstarted a run that saw the Bison outscore their guest by a 27-2 margin over the next 10 minutes.
Brantly Thompson's three-pointer with 8:45 in the first half gave the Bison their first lead at 22-20. The cushion grew throughout the half and when Julian Daughtry scored on a short jumper the Bison took a 41-27 lead into the locker room.
The Bison finished the game making 24-of-51 shots for 47 percent, including 10 three pointers. Lester led the way with four triples for the Bison. OBU out-rebounded the visitors by a 42-28 margin, a plus 14 advantage.
Oklahoma Baptist put together an impressive showing collecting an important 76-64 conference victory over visiting Ouachita Baptist University in women's basketball action. The win evened the Lady Bison's overall record at 6-6 and 2-4 in the Great American Conference and moved them into a four-way tie for eighth place. Ouachita dipped to 4-8 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Autumn Avina scored 18 points and Victoria Blankenship added 16 for the Lady Bison as they collected their first conference win since beating Northwestern Oklahoma State in November. OBU put four other players in double figures including Kaydee Banks with 14, Katy Custer and Mikaya Shulanberger each added 11 points.
The Lady Bison turned the game's momentum thanks to picking up the defensive intensity. They forced the Tigers into 18 turnovers and limited them to just 32.3 percent shooting on 22-of-68 attempts from the field. Meanwhile, OBU made 41 percent of their attempts from the field, including nine three pointers. Banks led the way from long distance making a season-high four three pointers.
The Lady Bison began to assert themselves in the third quarter outscoring the visitors 24-16. The quarter ended on a buzzer-beating, three-pointer by Avina that banked off the glass as the horn sounded. OBU led 57-47 after three quarters.
At the end of the first quarter the Lady Bison reversed seven-point deficit to a five-point lead thanks to a 15-2 run. Blankenship's layup off a feed from Shulanberger gave OBU a 30-24 lead with 3:12 remaining in the second. Banks added a late three pointer was the Lady Bison took a 33-31 lead into the break.
The Lady Bison continue conference play traveling to face Harding University on Thursday, Jan. 10 and concluding its road swing with a matchup at Arkansas Tech on Saturday, Jan. 12.