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Box and Clift sweep Conference and local awards

Against Heartland Conference opponent St. Edward’s University, the Oklahoma Christian University women’s basketball team shot 49 percent from the field to take a 63-50 win Feb. 1 in Austin, TX.

Junior Addy Clift shot 10-18 from the field and 5-8 on three pointers as she scored a team-high 25 points along with six rebounds and four assists.

Clift scored her 200th career three pointer at the 3:44 mark and her 25 points increased her career total to 1,148, which is 25th place on Oklahoma Christian’s all-time scoring list.

The Lady Eagles held the Hilltoppers to just six points in the second quarter and lead by more than six points for the duration of the game.

Freshman Katie Mayo scored six of her 12 points in a game-clinching 12-0 run in the fourth quarter. She also added six rebounds, four blocks and three steals.

Senior Audrey Hayes scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Back in the Nest Feb. 3., the Lady Eagles won their second straight game against a conference rival as they beat Rogers State University 76-63.

Clift recorded her second straight 25-point performance. Freshman Madison Collyer added 13 points and junior Carolyne Lawley finished with 12 points.

Oklahoma Christian led 38-21 at halftime before falling to a 10-point lead just before the fourth quarter.

Rogers State pulled within eight points with 56 seconds remaining in the game, but the Lady Eagles made five of six free throws to close with a 13-point win.

For her combined 50 points scored in the last two games, Clift received her fourth Heartland Conference women’s player of the week award. She has received this honor more than any other player in the Heartland Conference. Clift was also selected as the women’s college basketball player of the week.

The men’s team, despite a high scoring game from both senior Elijah Strickland and junior Jordan Box, fell 107-92 to St. Edwards Feb.1.

Box scored a team-high 33 points including four three-pointers. Strickland added 25 points, six rebounds and five assists. No other Eagle scored more than six points.

The Hilltoppers outrebounded the Eagles 43-32 playing without starting center Will Lienhard due to injury.

“It was really tough missing two starters and missing two weapons to go at them with,” senior Abel Rodriguez said. “We hung with them in the first, but then fell behind in the second half once we ran out of things to throw at them.”

Oklahoma Christian last led at the 11:39 mark when Box drove in for a layup and put them up 68-66. St. Edwards went on an 8-2 run after that, leading by as many as 17 with 33 seconds remaining.

In their next game Feb. 3, the Eagles snapped their eight-game losing streak against rival Rogers State with a 77-61 victory.

Box again led the team with 27 points, shooting six-of-11 from deep. Rodriguez came off the bench and added 16 points and eight rebounds.

“I just play every game like it is my last now,” Rodriguez said. “This is my last year, and the better I play, hopefully, the longer the team can play this season.”

The Hillcats pulled within eight, 62-54, with 4:41 left. Then, the Eagles went on a 15-7 run, going 7-of-8 on free throws to close the game with a win.

“We came into the game knowing it was important for conference seeding and postseason,” Rodriguez said. “We want to play in the postseason and played hard for this big win.”

Strickland played the point guard position, because junior Charles Shaw was limited to nine minutes due to illness. Strickland finished with eight points, six rebounds and six assists.

Box was awarded the Heartland Conference men’s player of the week after his two high-scoring performances. Box also earned the men’s college basketball player of the week, giving Oklahoma Christian a sweep of the two weekly awards alongside Clift.

Both teams are hosting Texas A&M International University tomorrow night in the Nest. The women tip off at 5:30 p.m. and the men tip off at 7 p.m.

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