Lions Roar; Drovers Remain Silent (Photo Essay)

Coach Darrick Matthews brings his team together during a timeout to spark a comeback rally.

Paul Tointigh, Managing Editor

Thursday night, USAO hosted Langston University, as the campus honored President John Feaver and the rest of the USAO staff and faculty. USAO’s women, ranked #18 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) coaches top 25 poll, came into the night with a 21-4 (15-4 SAC) record, and USAO’s men entered with a 14-11 (11-8 SAC) record.

The women’s game began eight seconds in with Diaka Berete making a layup, and putting the first points on the board. The Drovers kept Langston at bay during most of the first quarter, but the Lions began creeping up. The lead changed hands with three-pointers from both teams, and the first quarter would end 23-19 with Langston ahead. The second quarter felt an increase in tension as the Drovers could not catch up to the Lions. The Drovers trailed 42-33 going into the locker rooms.

The Drovers put in work in the third quarter. USAO caught up to Langston and tried the game at 44-44 with about seven minutes left in the third. Both teams fought back and forth with the lead changing many times, and the third came to an end tied at 54-54.

Fourth quarter started with Langston taking a slight lead, but Zaria Dorsey made a layup to tie the game once again. After this play, Langston would regain the lead and stay ahead for the rest of the game. The final buzzer went off with a score of 76-66 in favor of Langston.

Though the Drovers lost, four players scored in the double digits. Lainey Morrow put 16 points on the board paired with eight rebounds and two steals. Berete scored 12 points with three assists and three steals. Dorsey and Jordan Bloomfield each ended with ten points.

The men’s game began with two points from Cade Allen one minute into the game. The Drovers put in work to create distance between them and Langston, ranked #5, throughout the half. Cejay Mann sank a buzzer-beater to send the Drovers into halftime with a 31-22 lead.

The Drovers kept their healthy lead in the beginning of the second half, but it did not last. Langston began to close the gap at the 15-minute mark, and would take the lead 43-42 with 12 minutes to go. A behind-the-back pass came from Mann to Samkelo Cele for a three-pointer to retake the lead. Langston came roaring back to take the lead with a three-pointer to make the score 48-47 with the Lions on top.

The Drovers, however, could not catch up. Langston continued to widen the gap as the minutes ticked down. The game ended 68-56 with a Lions victory.

Though the Lions outpaced them, three Drovers scored in the double digits. Cele scored 22 points with six rebounds. Cele went 8-8 from the charity stripe. Mann tacked on 11 points, and Gerard Makuntae racked up ten points and ten rebounds.

Both Drover teams left the fieldhouse with frustration, as this is the first double-header that ended with two Drover losses in the books. USAO will host Central Christian University for senior night on Saturday, February 11th, beginning at 3:45 p.m. with women’s game.


Paul Tointigh is a third-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.