Slow Start Proves Costly In Weevils’ One-Point Loss

Courtesy of
Brian Ramsey

tv_sports 10dbMONTICELLO — Southwestern Oklahoma State jumped out to a 23-8 lead in the first nine minutes of the contest, which proved to be key in the University of Arkansas at Monticello men’s basketball team’s 71-70 loss to the Bulldogs at home on Saturday in Great American Conference action.

   The Boll Weevils (11-8, 6-7 GAC) were shooting below 30 percent in the first 10 minutes of the first half, while the Bulldogs (8-11, 7-6 GAC) were shooting above 60 percent on the other side, allowing SWOSU to grab a double-digit lead at the 14:12 mark of the opening period.

   Southwestern held on to that double-digit lead until the final six minutes of the first half, when UAM outscored SWOSU 16-8 throughout the remainder of the period to trim the deficit to five points (39-34) at the break.

   The Boll Weevils kept it within four points in the first five minutes of the second half before UAM used a 10-2 scoring run to take a two-point lead on pair of Kori Forge free-throws at the 13:27 mark. It was UAM’s first lead of the game since the opening minute of the first half.

   The two squads swapped leads and forced three more tie scores over the next four minutes before the Bulldogs were able to get on top by six points with 7:30 remaining following a quick 7-0 spurt. UAM pulled it back to within one point following a three-pointer from Forge and a jumper from Brandon Sims on consecutive possessions.

   UAM led for the final time on a layup from Josh Gibson at the 2:53 mark to put the Weevils up 64-63.

   SWOSU responded with five straight points to hold a four-point lead with 1:36 remaining.

   UAM’s Brandon Sims finalized his career-high 23 point performance by going coast to coast for a layup with five seconds remaining to put UAM down one point. SWOSU’s Rod Camphor missed two free throws, which allowed Forge to put up a potential game-winning 35-foot shot at the buzzer, but Forge’s shot bounced in and out of the goal to allow SWOSU to complete the season sweep over UAM. SWOSU defeated UAM 68-59 earlier this year in Weatherford, Okla.

   As a team, UAM shot right at 50 percent from the field (23-of-46), 27 percent on three-pointers (4-of-15) and 91 percent on free throws (20-of-22). SWOSU shot 49 percent from the field (22-of-45), 54 percent on three-pointers (7-of-13) and 74 percent on foul shots (20-of-27).

   In addition to Sims’ career game, Forge also hit his season average with 20 points, including a 10-for-10 effort at the charity stripe.

   Michael Bradley led SWOSU with 18 points.

   The Boll Weevils are back in action next Thursday, Feb. 7 at home against Southeastern Oklahoma State. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. inside Steelman Field House.

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