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Bison use dominating final five minutes to put away SWOSU

Oklahoma Baptist Athletics

The Oklahoma Baptist men's basketball dominated the final five minutes of play as it closed the game on a 22-7 run to defeat the Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs by a score of 90-80 on Thursday inside the Noble Complex.

Success from the 3-point line was the key for OBU as the Bison drained a season-high 14 3-pointers and shot 42% from behind the arc. OBU finished 29 of 66 (44%) from the floor including a red hot 50% n the second half. The Bison also went 18 of 23 (78%) from the free-throw line on the night.

SWOSU finished strong from the field, going 29 of 63 (46%) from the field, but OBU held the Bulldogs to only 6 of 17 (35%) from behind the arc. 

The Bison continue to take care of the ball extremely well, only turning it over 12 times on the night. The Bison held an advantage in second-chance points over SWOSU at 19-8 as they out rebounded the Bulldogs 40-36.

It was a back-and-forth start early on between both squads as the offenses were rolling.  Harrison Stoddart, Brantly Thompson and Jordan Thompson gave OBU the early 7-6 advantage while Trace Boling returned from injury for his first playing time of the year, getting on the board with a beautiful lay-in to lead 9-6.

A mini 6-0 run put the Bulldogs ahead 12-0, but Brantly Thompson responded with his first 3-pointer of the game to even the contest at 12 apiece. Thompson, Stoddart, and Nigel Wilcox followed with points in the paint to make lead 18-17, followed by a 3-pointer from Stoddart to lead 21-17. 

SWOSU cut the deficit to 22-21 but the freshman duo of Thompson and Boling heated up as Thompson found Boling open for three on back-to-back possessions to open up a 28-21 lead with under seven to play in the first half.

The Bulldogs chipped away at the deficit, but OBU was able to stay in front, taking a 42-40 lead at the end of half thanks to aggressive play from Jordan Thompson and Stoddart as well as a 3-pointer from Trey Green.

SWOSU was the aggressor early in the second half as it was hot from the field early on, taking a 52-48 lead five minutes into the half.  Jaquan Simms responded with a lay-in followed by a 3-pointer from Brantly to move back ahead 53-52.

The two teams battled back-and-forth as Green and Stoddart knocked down 3-pointer to keep the Bison ahead 61-58. Thompson and Wilcox kept their foot on the petal as they pushed it out to six with under nine minutes to play.

SWOSU responded in a big way, heating up from deep and taking the lead back, pushing it to its biggest of the game at 73-68 with six to play. 

The Thompsons answered in the biggest way.

The senior Brantly put the team on his back and fired back-to-back 3-pointers to regain the lead at 74-73. Moments later, a turnover was pushed ahead to the freshman Jordan who threw a pass off the backboard and to Wilcox who put home a ferocious slam that sent the bench into a frenzy for a 76-73 lead. 

After a free throw from SWOSU, Jordan Thompson knocked down a jumper. Followed by a block from Wilcox, Stoddart knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner with the foul to take an 81-74 lead. Simms put it away for good on a pass from the freshman Thompson to get the lead to 10.

OBU would pull away for the victory, but not before Wilcox's second unbelievable jam as Simms threw an alley-oop to Wilcox, who tomahawked it down with one hand to put the game to rest as OBU took home the 90-80 victory.

Brantly Thompson finished with 25 points, including five 3-pointers, four rebounds and three steals. Stoddart added 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks while his running mate Wilcox had 13 points, 13 rebounds and two steals. Jordan Thompson scored 14 points off the bench including six assists while Simms had seven points and seven assists.

In his debut, Boling scored eight points with three boards while Green had six points on a pair of 3-pointers.

Tauriawn Knight led SWOSU with 19 points and five boards while Chris Braggs, Jr. added 17 points. Damion Thornton notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

OBU moved to 5-3 overall and 5-2 in the GAC, taking over the top spot in the Great American Conference's Western Divison. The Bison are set to play Saturday at East Central University in Ada at 5 p.m.