Bison men go on late 18-0 run to defeat SNU

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
OBU's Jaquan Simms (3) looks to drive the basketball against Southern Nazarene earlier this season. The Bison played SNU again Monday and came away with a 60-57 come-from-behind win. Simms tallied 19 points for OBU.

BETHANY – A late 18-0 run by the Oklahoma Baptist University Bison ignited a come-from-behind 60-57 victory over Southern Nazarene Monday night in Great American Conference men's basketball play at the Sawyer Center.

Jarius Hicklen, who fired in 23 points, scored 13 of the 18 points during that late spurt from the 6:28 mark to the 1:03 point. Hicklen finished the game 6 of 9 from the floor, including 3 of 6 from 3-point territory, and 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.

Jaquan Simms added 19 points to the Bison attack as he tallied five points during that huge run off back-to-back buckets – a layup and a trey. Simms finished 7 of 13 from the field, including 5 of 8 from outside the arc, to go with six rebounds and an assist.

Also during that late-game surge, Nigel Wilcox drained all four of his free-shot tries in the final 32 seconds. He was 5 of 6 from the line in finishing with five points to go with a team-leading seven rebounds.

One of the big differences in the game was free-throw shooting as OBU was a near-perfect 15 of 16 while SNU was only 12 of 21.

The field-goal and 3-point shooting by both teams were nearly identical. The Bison and Crimson Storm were each 18 of 49 from the field (36.7%). OBU was 9 of 25 and SNU was 9 of 26 from 3-point land.

With the Crimson Storm up 52-38, the Bison staged its massive run. Hicklen's old-fashioned 3-point play got things rolling with 6:28 to go.

Hicklen followed with a trey with 5:06 remaining. Simms then got a layup off a feed from Hicklen and Simms buried a trey off another Hicklen assist with 3:29 left to pull OBU within 52-49.

Another Hicklen 3-pointer tied it at 52 with 2:13 showing on the clock. Hicklen's layup with 1:39 to go, put the Bison on top for good at 54-52. Then Hicklen nailed two free throws, pushing the OBU lead to 56-52.

The Crimson Storm finally broke a near six-minute scoreless drought with a Karlyn Kenner trey to get SNU within 56-55.

However, the Wilcox drained 4 of 4 charity tosses in the final 32 seconds to the help the Bison maintain their lead the rest of the way. Two Adokiye Iyaye free shots with eight seconds left pulled the Crimson Storm within 58-57, but Wilcox dropped in his final two free throws with seven seconds remaining.

OBU trailed 33-19 at halftime and shot just 27.3% through the opening minutes. However, the Bison fired at a 44.4% pace in the second half, including 50% (7 of 14) from outside the arc.

Meanwhile, SNU hit at a 50% clip in the opening half, but was only 21.7% in the final 20 minutes. The Crimson Storm managed just five second-half field goals and three of those were treys.

The Bison held a 34-31 rebounding edge and had two more turnovers, 13-11.

Iyaye led SNU with a game-high 25 points, including three 3-pointers, and eight rebounds. Kenner and Manny Dixon each ended up with 11 points in a losing effort.

OBU, 9-3 overall and 9-2 in the GAC, had dropped seven straight games to the Crimson Storm at SNU's Sawyer Center. The Bison have won seven straight and will host East Central University Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Noble Complex.