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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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Final Minutes of Play Favor MACU in SAC Tournament

BB+Polk+picks+up+her+dribble+to+make+a+pass+to+Diaka+Berete+in+the+SAC+Tournament+against+MACU.
Laura Barrios Bardi
BB Polk picks up her dribble to make a pass to Diaka Berete in the SAC Tournament against MACU.

USAO women’s basketball (19-9, 15-7 SAC) began their run in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Tournament against Mid-America Christian University (MACU) (21-7, 15-7 SAC) Thursday, Feb. 29. The Drovers were the number five seed, and the Evangels came in as the fourth seed for the tournament. 

In the first quarter, USAO went on a 6-0 run in the first few minutes. However, MACU began to heat up as they dropped two three-point shots on the Drovers. The three-point shots continued, as the Evangels made four of them in the quarter. USAO managed to keep close in points but did not have the same luck as their competitors with shots behind the arc. The Drovers were down 15-13 after the first quarter of action.  

The second quarter featured USAO scoring more buckets than the previous quarter. Senior forward Lainey Morrow hit double digits in points halfway through the second quarter, along with recording four rebounds, two steals, and one assist. Her efforts helped push the team to a five-point lead halfway through the second. However, MACU kept their foot on the gas with three-pointers, draining an additional five shots. This pushed the Evangels to hold a small lead of 34-33 to end the first half.  

Despite not having the lead, the Drovers managed to have more rebounds, higher shooting percentages, and more steals than their competitor. The strategy was clear from MACU, as they attempted 22 three-point shots in the first half.  

The third quarter consisted of both teams clashing back and forth in a close battle. Morrow continued to score for the Drovers, hitting 16 points for the night at that point. The Evangels also didn’t hit as well on their three-point shots, going 1-8 in the third quarter. Both teams kept the same pace with each other though, as they both scored 17 points in the quarter. Due to this, the Drovers were down 51-50 going into the final quarter.  

The final quarter proved to be a thrilling matchup and went down to the wire. On the offensive side of the ball, senior guard Bryanna Polk came to play, as she put up eight points. Junior guard Diaka Berete was also critical to the final efforts of the Drovers, as she had four rebounds, three points, and a steal. With just under two minutes left in the fourth, USAO took the lead 66-61. The five-point lead was not enough though. The Evangels managed to hit back-to-back three-point shots and the Drovers accrued four fouls and two turnovers. This disaster of a situation for USAO allowed MACU to continue scoring in the last two minutes, which led to a final score of 72-66. 

This matchup was extremely close despite what the scoreline says. The Drovers were able to finish the game ahead in overall shooting percentage (.482) and rebounds (37) than the Evangels. At the same time, USAO had more turnovers (10) and fouls (15) called against them.  

There was not a lack of effort from USAO, as four different players scored at least ten points in the game. Morrow led the team in scoring with 19 points and contributed eight rebounds and two steals. Berete was close behind her offensively as she added 17 points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Junior forward Crystal Ortiz also played well, putting up a double-double with 13 points, ten rebounds, and three assists. Finally, Polk had ten points on the night along with two assists.  

Despite the tournament loss, the season may not be over for the Drovers. The NAIA Selection Show will premier Thursday, Mar. 7 at 7 p.m. on the NAIA YouTube page. This will determine the placement of all teams for the NAIA Tournament. 

 

Gary Jackson is a third-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Gary Jackson
Gary Jackson, Managing Editor
Gary is a fourth-year communication major from Kingston. He works as a resident assistant (RA). Gary began writing for The Trend in January 2022, and has interned with the Madill Record and Marietta Monitor newspapers. When Gary isn’t attending class and working, you can watch him making the game-winning catch at the ultimate frisbee game, hanging out with friends, or visiting with his family. Experience with The Trend: Managing Editor: May 2024 - present Sports Editor: Nov. 2023 - Apr. 2024 Senior Writer: Dec. 2022 - Nov. 2023 Contributing Writer: Jan. 2022 - Dec. 2022
Laura Barrios Bardi
Laura Barrios Bardi, Contributing Photographer
Laura Barrios Bardi a third-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