Eagles suffer close losses to open conference play
Friday, December 7, 2007
By Stefanie Trent
Oklahoma Christian University men’s basketball team entered Sooner
Athletic Conference play last week and lost to both the University of
Science and Arts of Oklahoma and Southern Nazarene University.
In the loss to Southern Nazarene the Eagles came out strong in the
first 15 minutes as they went up 16-0 against the ninth ranked Crimson
“We played the best 15 minutes of the year at the start.
Unfortunately games are longer than 15 minutes; we have to learn to
finish games,” head coach Dan Hays said.
The Crimson Storm came back and took over the lead, but the Eagles were able to tie the score before halftime.
“We played good in the first half and then we just started to get away
from what we were doing. We played good enough to win, we just couldn’t
make the plays at the end of the game,” sophomore Jason Taylor said.
Oklahoma Christian had a very strong showing in the first half by the team’s starters.
“I thought we played pretty well,” junior Kyle Tefft said. “We have
to play better down the stretch. We might be able to win some of these
The Eagles lost steam and staying power during the first half after coming out strong.
“We came out really strong in the first 15 then we had a little
short lapse and then went on another run and got it close,” sophomore
David Jackson said. “We came out in the second half and did not play
well. They got the lead and won the game.”
Coming back from halftime the Crimson Storm took off on a 10-0 run and never looked back.
“I think we let one slip away that we should have definitely won,” freshman Jeff Crocker said.
After the 60-57 loss to Southern Nazarene the Eagles stand at 0-2 in conference play.
“We play so many conference games we don’t have practice time so
there is not time to put new plays in. We hope to be 1-2 before
Christmas break,” Tefft said.
Against Science and Arts of Oklahoma the Eagles jumped out to an early
lead, but once again were unable to continue their momentum.
The Drovers took a 30-27 lead into intermission and Oklahoma Christian never regained the lead.
Taylor led the Eagles with 27 points and seven rebounds and Tefft dropped in 21 points.
The team has been growing all semester. For many players this is their first time to play at this level.
“We are getting better day by day, practice by practice, and game by
game,” Taylor said. “We have really improved with what we are doing
since the first game. I am excited to see what next semester brings.”
With Christmas break just around the corner, players and coaches are
looking forward to growing as a team and continued practice. This
allows them time to focus on practice and working on new plays.
“The break will be good to have practice time because we come back so
early,” Taylor said. “It will give us time to be better as a team. We
will be able to focus on basketball because no one else will be here.”
As conference play continues next semester, the Eagles look to
improve their record, as well as their standing in the conference.
“We are playing better. It is a young team that is growing. The key
for us is how much we are going to improve; we knew it would be a
challenge,” assistant coach Curtis Janz said. “We have to continue to
get better and these guys have to work hard and have great attitudes.
Great things will come from the team; it is just a matter of when.”
The Eagles picked up their first conference victory on Tuesday night
by defeating No. 24 Northwestern Oklahoma State University 66-61. A 9-2
run helped the Eagles make up for a 12-point halftime deficit. Taylor
led the Eagles with 24 points and 12 rebounds and Tefft pitched in 13
points and nine rebounds.
The team will use the upcoming break to recharge for the long
conference season before taking on St. Gregory’s University on Jan. 3
in Shawnee, Okla.