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Conference play starts Thursday for the Eagles

Wednesday, November 28, 2007  
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The last time Oklahoma Christian and Science & Arts (Okla.) met in November, it didn’t mean much.

This Thursday, it means a lot.

OC’s Lady Eagles and Eagles will host USAO Thursday in the Sooner Athletic Conference openers for both schools. The women’s game starts at 6 p.m. with the men’s tipoff slated for 8 p.m.

The SAC’s expansion to 12 teams has increased the number of conference games to 22, moving the start of the league schedule up from its traditional January start date. Mid-America Christian (Okla.) and Rogers State (Okla.) are the SAC’s new additions.

Oklahoma Christian leads the all-time series with USAO in both men’s and women’s play. The OC men, who often played the Drovers in non-conference November games before USAO rejoined the SAC, have won 26 of the 37 meetings since 1975, including five of the last seven.

Jason Taylor and Kyle Tefft lead the Eagles (3-4 on the season). Taylor averages a team-best 17.4 points with Tefft second at 13.6. Taylor also leads the team with 8.9 rebounds per game while Tefft is second with 6.0 boards per contest.

USAO (4-1) is paced by Thomas Woods, who scored a season-high 41 points in the Drovers’ Nov. 3 win against Langston.

Both USAO and OC are stingy on defense. The Drovers allow just 60.4 points per game, ranking third in the SAC. OC is fifth in the conference, holding opponents to 62.0 points per contest.

On the women’s side, the Lady Eagles hold a commanding 46-9 series edge over USAO. The Lady Eagles have taken eight of the last 10 meetings, including an 87-77 win in the first round of the 2007 SAC Tournament.

The Lady Eagles (2-2) are led by the backcourt tandem of Lindsey Gipson and Kailan DeCamp. Gipson leads the SAC with 18.5 points per game while DeCamp is tops in the conference in steals (3.3 per game) and assists (3.5).

Charite Wilson leads the Lady Drovers (4-3) with 15.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.

Thursday’s contest is just one of four home dates for the Lady Eagles over the first 16 games of the season. Beginning Saturday at No. 5 Southern Nazarene, OC’s women play nine of their next 10 games (including the next six in a row) away from home.

Tickets to Thursday’s doubleheader cost $6 for adults and $4 for students. The games can be heard at http://eaglebroadcasting.oc.edu. 

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