USAO Men Snap Six-Game Losing Streak (Photo Essay)

Samkelo Cele jumps to shoot over the arm of his MACU defender late in the game.

Laura Barrios Bardi, Contributing Photographer

USAO’s basketball teams hosted an eventful night against Mid-American Christian University (MACU). The women fell to MACU 77-56 to etch their third loss of the season into their record. On the other hand, USAO’s men fell into old habits to earn a 64-63 comeback victory over the Evangels.

The night began with an intense women’s game. Neither team was in the lead after the first quarter, with a tied score of 19-19. MACU started gaining momentum as they were more successful from behind the arc and forcing many turnovers. The Drovers trailed 44-36 going into the half against the Evangels. The Drovers picked up the pace coming back from halftime, but were outscored going in the fourth quarter 20-3, with the final score of 77-56.

Despite the team loss, sophomore Diaka Berete had an outstanding performance last night with 23 points. Along with Trinitee Alexander and Lainey Morrow who added 12 points and nine points respectively.

Starting off hot for the men’s game, Samkelo Cele dunks the ball off a phenomenal pass from Langston Gaither. Although a great start, the Evangels took control for the first half with a lead of 39-25. Coming back from halftime, the Drovers performance was outstanding as they went on a 14-1 run – perhaps it had something to do with half the team changing their shoes during the break.

The Drovers were able to gain the lead of 49-48 halfway into second half. The remaining half resulted in a continuous battle of the lead, with neither opponent breaking away. Nonetheless, the Drovers were able to hang on to a last minute 5-0 run to claim the victory.

Cele delivered 24 points Thursday night, making it his tenth 20+ point game of the season. Sophomore Cade Allen held a strong performance from behind the arc where he shot 50% and totaled 11 points.  Jaden Harrell along with Tyler Cauley were key players. Harrell put up nine points paired with seven assists, while Cauley tacked on seven points.

Laura Barrios Bardi is a second-year Fine Arts major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.