Men's basketball: Oklahoma Baptist Bison rebound for 69-63 triumph over Washburn

Oklahoma Baptist University Athletics
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK

TOPEKA, Kan. - Oklahoma Baptist shot over 50% from the floor to close out their third win of the season, gutting out a 69-63 triumph over Washburn on Tuesday night.

OBU got back on the winning track after dropping its first game of the season last week. 

The Bison simply wanted it more as they out-rebounded the Ichabods 37-25, marking their fourth consecutive game with the advantage in the category. 

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OBU (3-1) cashed in on 25-of-28 (52.1%) attempts from the floor to post their highest field-goal percentage this season. The Bison knocked down 6-of-12 (50%) from the arc and went 13-of-15 (86.7%) from the charity stripe, both season-highs. 

Oklahoma Baptist's Jaquan Simms (3) buries a 3-point shot during a game earlier this year.

Senior guard Jaquan Simms sparked the Bison's run in the first half as he netted three consecutive 3-pointers to give OBU an early 11-3 lead. 

The lead reached as high as eight before the Ichabods mounted a comeback to cut their deficit to five and trail 22-17 with 10:24 left in the first half.

OBU regained control and went on a 10-3 run to go up 32-20, its largest lead of the game. 

However, Washburn refused to go away as the Ichabods found a little rhythm to trim its deficit to eight and trail 35-27 going into halftime.

Out of the break, the Bison maintained their composure as a Brantly Thompson jumper put the OBU up 41-30 at the 16:31 mark. 

Oklahoma Baptist's Burke Putnam (5) attempts to drive around a screen set by teammate Justin Tene (15) during action Tuesday night against host Washburn in Topeka, Kan.

WU slowly chipped at the OBU lead, converting on forced turnovers to draw within six with 7:46 left. The Bison held their ground and stalled an Ichabod rally with four clutch Burke Putnam free throws down the stretch to complete their victory. 

Putnam rattled in seven field goals and went a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe to post 22 points. He brought down a team-best nine boards and stole one pass to finish his night. Simms lit up Washburn in the first half as he knocked down five straight triples en route to his 17-point night. Simms added four boards, two assists and one steal. 

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Justin Tene rounded off OBU's double-digit scorers as he went 5-for-7 from the floor to record 10 points in his 21 minutes of work. Thompson dished out eight assists, all coming in the first half, as he finished with seven points and a steal. 

Freshman D.J. Freeman played 22 minutes to chart six rebounds, while Nigel Wilcox recorded seven points and seven boards.

Looking ahead

This weekend, Oklahoma Baptist will return to action in the West Texas-A&M Thanksgiving Classic where the Bison will face West Texas-A&M (6-1) and Eastern New Mexico (2-2) to complete their 2021-22 non-conference schedule.