Tanner Shoemaker, Sports Information Director
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The No. 7 seed University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma gave ALL they had as they suffered a heartbreaking 102-98 OT loss against No. 4 seed William Carey University in the national quarter finals in Kansas City. The Drovers entered the game with less than 11 hours of rest before having to face the Crusaders in the what turned out to be the season finale. USAO was dealt the short end of the stick by drawing the first game of the day beginning at noon, following a 76-63 win against Wiley College that ended at 1 AM. Wiley College and USAO had a two-hour delay prior to the start of their game on Friday night, due previous games in the tournament running long.
The Drovers began their quarter final match-up against the Crusdaders on fire, leading by as many as 18 in the first half of the game. William Carey was able to hit a half-court buzzer-beater before halftime to cut USAO’s lead to 51-40. WCU came out strong in the second half, quickly cutting into USAO’s lead. The Drovers held the lead all the way until the 0:56 mark of the second half, but the Crusaders were able to tie the game at 86 going into overtime. The Drovers ran out of gas late in the game, being outscored 16-12 in overtime.
The Drovers finished the game shooting 34-67 from the field and they knocked down 17 out of their 34 shot attempts from three-point range. The Crusaders won the battle of the glass, outrebounding the Drovers 52-37.
The amount of heart that the Drovers displayed cannot be measured by any statistics, but they did have several players that lit up the scoresheet. Five different Drovers scored in double figures against WCU. Cameron Hines (SO/Ft. Cobb, OK) scored a team-high 21 points, to go along with 4 assists and 2 steals. The Twin Towers, Geno Artison (SR/Seattle, WA) and Dedrian Parmer (JR/Oklahoma City, OK) each had big games, scoring 19 points a piece. Artison added 9 rebounds and 2 assists as he shot 8-14 from the field. Parmer added 8 rebounds and 4 assists, in a performance in which he hit as many three-pointers as he had hit all season long (3). Stephon Hall (FR/Oklahoma City, OK) finished with 18 points, 4 rebounds, and a career-high of 7 assists. Clay Long (SR/Plain Dealing, LA) contributed 12 points to go with 3 rebounds. Hutch Peterson (SR/Tulsa, OK) closed out his EPIC USAO career with a 5 point, 5 rebound performance. Just as many other Drovers, Peterson does so many important things throughout the game that won’t show up in the box score. Manny Gatkek (FR/Amarillo, TX) closed out his season with a 4 point, 2 rebound performance.
The Drovers will now prepare for next season, determined and HUNGRY for another shot at the national championship.