The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Controversial Calls Fall in MACU’s Favor

Laura Barrios Bardi
Toni Fortune crossed up her UNT Dallas defender in a home game in January.

USAO’s women’s basketball (15-7, 11-5 SAC) team broke their four-game win streak against Mid-America Christian University (MACU) (16-6, 10-6). As the Drovers played on Legends Day on their home court, they fought hard to come out with a win.  

The game seemed to start off on the wrong foot as both teams missed their first chance to score, but eventually MACU came up with the first two points. By the halfway point in the first quarter, the Evangels had jumped to a quick 9-2 lead. In the first, MACU was shooting 35.3% field goals, 33.3% three-pointers, and 66.7% free throws. In comparison, USAO shot 33.3% field goals and 75% free throws. A stat line that is unusual from the Drovers was 0% from behind the arc, as the team missed all five of their three-point attempts. MACU won the first quarter 15-13. However, the Drovers maintained reaching distance to the lead.  

Right out of the gates, MACU’s Hallie Reed drained a three-pointer to extend her team’s lead. The team’s traded points for a majority of the second, but USAO couldn’t tie the game up. Senior guard Jordan Bloomfield had a good run with around 3:30 left in the quarter as she blocked a shot from MACU, then received an assist from senior forward Lainey Morrow to make a shot from behind the arc, making the score 30-27, MACU ahead. To end the quarter, senior guard Toni Fortune hit another three-pointer. With both teams scoring 22 points in the second, the score at half time was 37-35 in MACU’s favor.  

Within the first minute of play in the third, MACU made a layup which junior guard Diaka Berete responded to with a three-pointer, pushing the score to 39-38 in favor of the Evangels. With right under eight minutes to go, junior forward Crystal Ortiz made a layup to give USAO the 42-41 lead. The lead kept changing hands, usually by a point or two, and was eventually tied again by Bloomfield with another three-pointer at 50-50 with only a few miutes left of play. MACU hit a hot streak where they scored eight points unanswered, but the Drovers doubled down and scored six of their own points to send the game into the fourth quarter with a score of 58-56, MACU up.  

The fourth quarter saw the lead continue to change hands by only a few points at a time, as any shot could change the game in an instant. Tensions ran high as each team knew every single possession and free throw mattered.  

Both crowds were into the game, as they were cheering and on their feet. USAO’s crowd let their frustrations known by shouting at the referees about their decisions, as the use of the newly installed official review cameras was used frequently throughout the game. The game seemed to drag through the last quarter as the refs reviewed a potential three-pointer by Fortune, which ended up being called a two-pointer. After the recall, the game has seven minutes left of play and USAO led 61-60. 

MACU seemed to pull away with three minutes left in the game, as they were up 75-68. Yet, the Drovers gritted their teeth and put up three layups and two free throws to pull themselves back into the game with a score of 77-76. With 11 seconds left on the clock, Berete tied the game up at 78-78.  

On the game’s final play, the referees took it into their hands to determine its outcome. On an in-bound with 2.8 seconds left, there was a possible foul called against Morrow. Distaste for the officials was already high. After a long official review, it was decided that there was a shooting foul with just 0.3 seconds left on the clock. With the score tied at 78-78 MACU made one of two free throws, putting them ahead by one. The Drovers attempted an alley-oop inbound pass, but it was unsuccessful. MACU walked away with the 79-78 win.  

“We needed to stay more disciplined on offense,” Alexander said on where the game went wrong for the Drovers.  

Morrow led the scoring column for USAO with 18 points paired with 12 rebounds, 3 asssits, two blocks, and two steals. Berete put up 13 points and two steals. Fortune and Alexander had 12 points each.  

The Drovers will travel to Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) Thursday, Feb. 8 in Goodwell, OK at 6 p.m.  


Holden Pate is a second-year business administration major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Holden Pate, Contributing Writer
Holden is a second-year business administration major from Rush Springs. He is a resident assistant and works as the men's basketball manager.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Writer: Nov. 2023 - present
Laura Barrios Bardi
Laura Barrios Bardi, Contributing Photographer
Laura is a fourth-year art major from El Paso, TX. Laura currently works for USAO's Sports Information Department as a photographer. She is also a member of USAO's track and field team. Her hobbies include stargazing, spending time with friends, and working towards elevating her photography skills.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Photographer: Nov. 2022 - present