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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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Quezada Pushes Team to Overtime; Game Ends in Defeat

Reggie+Quezada+pushes+his+CCC+defender+back+while+driving+to+the+basket.
Laura Barrios Bardi
Reggie Quezada pushes his CCC defender back while driving to the basket.

USAO men’s basketball team (19-10, 14-8 SAC) began the postseason in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Tournament as the fifth seed. The Drovers played on the road against the fourth seed Wayland Baptist University (WBU) Pioneers (21-8, 15-7 SAC) Thursday, Feb. 29. 

The game did not start in USAO’s favor as they were down 26-12 after the first ten minutes of action. After the slow start, senior guard Reggie Quezada, junior guard Cejay Mann, and freshman forward Ryein Kennedy began racking up points for the offense. Quezada ended the half with ten points, three rebounds, and two assists while Mann had nine points, two rebounds, and two assists. Kennedy had more points than playing time in the first half, scoring ten points in nine minutes. Their offensive efforts kept USAO in the game, but their 11 fouls allowed the Pioneers to score 15 points from free throws. At the end of the half, the Drovers were down 44-38.  

The beginning of the second half started hot for junior guard Jaden Harrell, as he put up the first five of USAO’s points. Despite his effort, WBU managed a double-digit lead for most of the second half. With just under ten minutes remaining in the second half, junior forward Manny Gatkek made his second three-pointer of the game. This shot sparked a comeback for the Drovers as they began to inch closer to the lead. After a block and three-point shot from Quezada with seven minutes left in the half, the Drovers trailed 79-75.  

The Pioneers pulled away for the next few minutes of the half, but Quezada did not let the Drovers go down without a fight. He recorded another steal and continued to put USAO in promising positions to score. With a minute and a half minute left in the game, the Drovers took the lead 88-87. A free throw and jump shot inside the arc put WBU in the lead with less than a minute to go. A foul from the Drovers gave the Pioneers another point from a free throw as well, giving them a three-point lead with just 11 seconds remaining. Kennedy made a defensive rebound which made its way to Quezada. With four seconds left, Quezada showed his clutch gene and made a shot behind the arc, forcing the game into overtime with a score of 91-91. 

The Drovers had four different players score double-digit points in the second half, with Quezada (15), Harrell (13), Mann (11), and Gatkek (10) leading the charge. This offensive output helped them score 53 points in the second half alone.  

Five additional minutes were added to the clock for overtime, which was a back-and-forth slugfest between both teams. The start was promising for USAO as Quezada and Gatkek hit three-point shots in the first two minutes of action. WBU matched every shot the Drovers put up though, as the game was tied with 30 seconds remaining. Quezada made a free throw with 20 seconds left in overtime, but the Pioneers answered with a layup with 13 seconds left in the game. Even though Quezada got a rebound within the final seconds, USAO did not score again, losing in heartbreaking fashion 109-108. 

Only two Drovers scored in overtime, as Quezada added 14 points and Gatkek added three points. Although they didn’t win the game, USAO led in shooting percentage across the board and had fewer turnovers than their competitor. WBU led in rebounds though, as they had 42 while the Drovers had 31 in the game.  

Quezada put up 39 points along with six rebounds, six assists, one steal, and one block on the night. Mann was a huge part of USAO’s offense as well, scoring 20 points with his two rebounds, two steals, and two assists. Gatkek came from the bench and was almost perfect on the night, only missing one of out the twelve shot attempts he had. He had 16 points overall for the game along with four assists, two rebounds, and two blocks. Harrell and Kennedy also eclipsed double digits for points with 13 and 12 respectively.  

The men’s basketball season may not be over yet, as they have a chance to qualify for the NAIA National Championship Tournament. The NAIA YouTube channel will premier its selections for the tournament Thursday, Mar. 7 at 6 p.m. 

 

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