Drovers are Undefeated in Conference Play (Photo Essay)

Coach Matthews shares his excitement with Diaka Berete, the highest scoring player in the women’s game.

Emily Loughridge, Managing Editor

USAO’s men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted the Oklahoma City University (OCU) Stars at the Drover Fieldhouse Saturday evening. The women came into the game boasting the best start in program history with a 6-0 record, and after the final buzzer rang the women continued their hot streak with a 77-72 win to extend their record. The men came into the matchup with a 3-3 overall record. After an intense, back and forth game USAO came out on top with an 81-80 victory over the Stars.

In the women’s game both teams came out hot. The score at the end of the first quarter was 23-18, in favor of the Stars. The second quarter flew by as both teams tacked 16 additional points to the board, for a halftime score of 39-34. The Drovers finally found their advantage in the third where they outscored the Stars 18-13, and again in the fourth when the Drovers added 25 points to their total. The final score was 77-72 in favor of USAO, making their overall record 7-0 and their Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) record 2-0.

Diaka Berete a sophomore guard from Canada was the highest scorer across both teams with 23 points. She paired that with six rebounds and five assists in her 26 minutes of play. Lainey Morrow, a sophomore forward, found her way into the top five scorers for the seventh time this season with 18 points. Morrow impacted other stat columns with nine rebounds, three steals, and one block. Trinintee Alexander hit double digits as well with 12 points.

The men’s basketball team gave their fans another nail-biting game Saturday night. The first half ended with a three-point difference. The halftime score was 36-33, in favor of the Stars. USAO pulled themselves up in the second half when they tacked on 48 points compared to the Stars’s 44 points. The final score was 81-80 with the Drovers emerging victorious. USAO’s two-game win streak gives them a SAC record of 2-0.

Langston Gaither and Samkelo Cele, both senior guard, lead USAO’s scoring column with 19 points each. Gaither paired his points with nine rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Cele found his rhythm at the free throw line where he went 11-13. Cele also had six rebounds and two steals. Cejay Mann, a sophomore guard, aided his team with 17 points, 15 of which came from behind the three-point arc. Gerard Makuntae showcased his skillset across four stat columns, including 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.

Both Drover teams will be back in action Thursday, December 1st, in the Drover Fieldhouse. The women’s game will start at 6 pm against Southwestern Assemblies of God University with the men following at 7:45 pm.

Emily Loughridge is a second-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.