In his first career start, freshman Jarius Hicklen scored 21 points while Dishon Lowery and Jaquan Simms poured in 17 points each to lead the Oklahoma Baptist University men’s basketball team to an 80-77 win over Arkansas-Monticello Saturday at Steelman Fieldhouse.

MONTICELLO, Arkansas - In his first career start, freshman Jarius Hicklen scored 21 points while Dishon Lowery and Jaquan Simms poured in 17 points each to lead the Oklahoma Baptist University men’s basketball team to an 80-77 win over Arkansas-Monticello Saturday at Steelman Fieldhouse. 

The Bison were back on track offensively as they shot 28 of 56 (50%) from the field, 10 of 27 (37%) from behind the arc, and 14 of 20 (70%) from the free-throw line. On the other side, Arkansas-Monticello shot 27 of 63 (43%) from the field, 9 of 24 (38%) from deep, and 14 of 17 (82%) from the free throw line. 

OBU held a 37-32 advantage in rebounds and had 15 assists as a team. The Bison turned it over 15 times, but forced UAM into 12 turnovers of its own. OBU had 30 points in the paint and 15 second-chance points.

The Boll Weevils only had one lead and that was at the beginning of the contest when a pregame technical foul gave UAM a 1-0 lead. A 3-pointer from Brantly Thompson gave OBU a 3-1 lead and the Bison held that advantage for the rest of the contest. OBU pushed that early lead out to 13-6 thanks the 3-pointers from Simms and Harrison Stoddart.

Simms knocked down another 3-pointer while Stoddart added a lay-in to give OBU a 10-point lead at 18-8 with under 11 minutes to play in the first half.

UAM stormed back to get it within three, but OBU pushed it back to nine points as Hicklen added a pair of 3-pointers. Again, the Weevils got it back down to two at 29-27, but the Bison outscored UAM 9-4 in the final minutes of the half to take a 38-31 lead at the break.

OBU was rolling early in the second half as Lowery went to work to push their second half lead to 11 points on a pair of buckets inside the paint. That lead expanded to 13 points after a Mohammed Abubakar lay-in.

The Bison could never put UAM completely away as the Weevils rallied and got it within three, but Lowery went to work in the paint while Hicklen hit a big 3-pointer and Simms and Stoddart hit big buckets to get the lead to 12 at 62-50 with under 10:00 to play in the contest.

Again, UAM rallied to get within four before OBU pushed it back to eight points with under five to play thanks to big shots from Lowery and Hicklen. 

The Weevils found one more run in them and got it as close as one point with under three minutes to play. OBU got a response each time UAM got within one thanks to a huge jumper from Hicklen and free throws from Hicklen and Simms. The game-tying 3-pointer from UAM went long as the buzzer sounded and the Bison escaped with a enormous road win.

Hicklen was 7 of 9 from the field and 4 of 6 from behind the arc to go with eight rebounds and four assists while Lowery was 6 of 10 and pulled down seven boards. Simms buried three 3-pointers and had four rebounds and three steals. Stoddart scored nine points to go with eight boards while Thompson had eight points and five assists. 

KJ Lesure scored 23 points and had three steals while Austin Hardy had 15 points and seven boards off the bench to lead the Weevils.

OBU moved to 12-6 overall and 7-5 in the GAC. The Bison are home where seven of their next 10 contests will be inside the Noble Complex. That begins on Thursday evening as they welcome in Ouachita at 7:30 p.m.

UAM 80, OBU 30 (Women)

The Oklahoma Baptist University women’s basketball team fell to Arkansas-Monticello 80-30 on Saturday at the Steelman Fieldhouse.

Jaylin Stapleton led the way for the Bison with 11 points, five rebounds, and three steals. This was the fourth game in a row Stapleton has put up 10 or more points.

McKenzie Cooper added three steals and four boards while Charissa Price also had four boards on the night. 

OBU will look to regroup as they return home for three straight Great American Conference contests. The Bison will open the homestand against Ouachita Baptist on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. inside the Noble Complex.