The Eagles’ basketball team dropped a 70-66 loss to St. Mary’s University on Thursday night despite its increasing efforts to win in the season’s final month.
Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dan Hays said the team has increased its performance on the court but more players need to step it up.
“Our boys played pretty good, we just didn’t make enough winning plays down the stretch,” Hays said. “We had a 57-52 lead and should have gone up 59-52, just didn’t make enough winning plays.”
The lack of “winning plays” cost the Eagles a shot at redemption from their eight-game losing streak.
Both teams fought for control as John Moon played the court for the entire game and helped the Eagles outrebound their opponent, who retaliated by recording a higher shooting accuracy, specifically more 3-point shots.
Highlights for the Eagles included Elijah Strickland adding 14 points for the team and Chiza Ntirata pulling down nine rebounds. Deric Shelton worked to overcome his team’s struggle by adding 10 points of his own along with two assists.
After the first half Oklahoma Christian University stood within striking distance as the scoreboard read 40-37. The second half showed a scoring decrease on both sides as the Eagles recorded 29 points and the Rattlers 30.
The loss to St. Mary’s updated the Eagles’ record to 4-15 in the season and 1-10 in the Heartland Conference.
Hays said every member on the court and the sidelines is struggling this season physically and emotionally.
“They’re a good bunch of guys and it’s not like they’re not hurting – just like the coaching staff is,” Hays said. “We put in a lot of time and we’re not getting much out of it, but it’s a game of nights and we’ll try again Saturday afternoon.”
Oklahoma Christian will travel to south Texas to play Texas A&M International University on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.