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Bison at home tonight for first time in 19 days

Brian Johnson
Sports Editor
Oklahoma Baptist University’s Brantly Thompson (10) goes in for a contested shot against Arkansas Tech earlier this season.    
PHOTO BY BRIAN JOHNSON

In the thick of the playoff hunt, the Oklahoma Baptist University Bison finally return to the friendly confines of the Noble Complex tonight as they host the Ouachita Baptist Tigers at 7:30 p.m.

Women’s action will tip off at 5:30 p.m.

It will be the first of three straight home games for the Bison men and women, who haven’t played at home since Jan. 11. The Bison teams will entertain Henderson State for their next games on Saturday afternoon and then host Southeastern Oklahoma State University next Thursday night.

The Bison men, tied for fourth with East Central University and Arkansas Tech at 8-4 in the Great American Conference, will be looking to continue the momentum after a thrilling 80-77 bounce-back victory at Arkansas-Monticello last Saturday. That win came just two days after OBU was on the short end of a 77-60 score at Southern Arkansas last Thursday.

Saturday’s triumph by the Bison was highlighted by a 21-point scoring effort from 6-foot, 3-inch freshman Jarius Hicklen, who drained 7-of-9 shots from the floor, including 4-of-6 from 3-point land. He also received scoring support from 6-4 junior Jaquan Simms and 6-7 senior Dishon Lowery, who each finished with 17 points.

Meanwhile, Ouachita fell at home to ECU last Saturday, 85-71, despite the scoring efforts of Raymond Harris (15 points) and Allie Freeman (13). Ouachita shot 43.3% from the field in that game and only 26.3% (5-of-19) from outside the arc. Ouachita did knock down 82.4% (14-of-17) of its foul shots.

Heading into tonight’s action, the Bison have three players averaging in double figures this season. Simms leads the way with a 13.2 average, followed by grad transfer senior Rashad Lewis at 11.6 and junior Harrison Stoddart at 10.7. Lowery (8.8), Hicklen (8.8) and junior Brantly Thompson (8.7) follow.

OBU is looking to sweep the season series after thumping the Tigers, 80-62, on Jan. 4 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

The Bison men are 12-6 overall while Ouachita is 7-10 and 4-8 in the conference.

The Bison women, 4-14 and 0-12, are seeking their first GAC win as they battle the Ouachita women who are also 4-14 overall and 1-11 in the conference.

Like the men, the OBU women have three players averaging in double figures, led by 5-9 freshman Kalifa Ford at 17.7 to go with an 8.8 rebounding clip. Shawnee High School product McKenzie Cooper sports a 14.5 scoring average and Jaylin Stapleton is at 10.8 with a 4.5 assist average.

The Ouachita women bring in scoring balance as four of their players are averaging between 10.1 and 12.4. Maija Gertsone leads the way at 12.4, followed by Eden Crow (11.4), Madison Brittain (10.2) and Madison Raney (10.1).

The Tigers’ only conference win was a 71-62 decision over the Bison back on Jan. 4 in Arkadelphia.