Basket-for-basket Oklahoma Christian University fought Dallas Baptist University on the court on Monday, but victory slipped through the team’s fingers as it missed key shots in overtime, ending with a 62-59 loss.
Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dan Hays said the team did not take advantage of winning opportunities when needing to extend the lead.
“Three chances to win the game in regulation, a chance to win in overtime, just didn’t hit the key shot when we needed it,” Hays said. “But I was really pleased with the way we played, couldn’t ask any more out of the guys.”
The Eagles stepped on the court and immediately started building a lead against the No. 1 Heartland Conference contender. They held off the Patriots for almost 16 minutes before the game tied at 24 points and then at 26 by halftime.
DBU gained control during the second half and led for seven minutes. Oklahoma Christian set the game into a tie again and from then on it was a back-and-forth battle between the teams.
Free throws and 3-pointers continued to fight the Eagles as they shot 10-14 from the charity stripe and 6.3 percent from behind the arc, recording one of 16 attempted 3-pointers.
Oklahoma Christian lead 54-53 but Chiza Ntirata fouled with 14 seconds in the game and DBU’s Jonathan Perry shot 1-2 from the line, sending the game into overtime.
The team traded the lead three times before it stuck with the Patriots, who succeeded in making a 2-point shot followed by two free throws to put the game at 62-59.
With 3.3 seconds on the clock, Jordan Rutherford attempted a hail-Mary shot to John Moon on the far side of the court but overpowered his throw over Moon’s head and the Patriot’s Patrick Burke stole the ball, sealing the Eagles’ loss.
Hays said the team portrayed “outstanding effort” and “great defense” but couldn’t push itself to take down Dallas Baptist.
“We just…haven’t made enough winning plays,” Hays said. “That’s a generalization, but that’s a fact.”
The team’s record stands at 6-18 and 3-13 in the conference with four more games in the season.
The Eagles return to action at Rogers State University on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.