February 28th, 2019
OKLAHOMA CITY- UAFS senior guard Chris Crawford and junior guard Tyler Williams combined for 46 points, but their explosive offensive performance wasn’t enough for the Lions in Thursday’s regular-season finale against the Oklahoma Christian Eagles.
The Eagles shot 50 percent from the field – 46 percent from 3-point range – on their way to an 88-73 Heartland Conference win against the Lions at the Eagles Nest in Oklahoma City.
Still, the Lions (10-18, 4-12), who beat the Eagles 92-70 on Jan. 9 at the Stubblefield Center, have qualified for the Heartland Conference Tournament regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s remaining conference games.
UAFS will either be the No. 7 or No. 8 seed in what will be their eighth-consecutive conference tournament, which will begin on Thursday at the Union Multipurpose Activity Center in Tulsa, Okla.
St. Edward’s won the regular-season conference title and will be the No. 1 seed, and Dallas Baptist is runner-up and will be the No. 2 seed. The Nos. 3-5 seeds will be Lubbock Christian, Newman and Rogers State with the exact order depending on the outcome of Saturday’s final games.
Oklahoma Christian (10-16, 5-10) will be the No. 6 seed, and UAFS and the winner of Saturday’s St. Mary’s-Texas A&M International game will receive the Nos. 7-8 seeds with the order depending on the outcome of Saturday’s games.
Single-day tickets will be available for purchase at the UMAC for $15 for adults and $7 for students with a valid student I.D. Military personnel, with military identification, and children age 5 and under will be admitted free of charge. Tournament passes, which are good for all 14 games, will be $40. Ticket and tournament pass purchases at the UMAC box office are cash only.
Crawford scored a team-high 25 points – two points shy of his single-game, career-high as a Lion, and Williams added 21 points, but no other Lion scored more than seven points. UAFS shot just 39 percent from the field (24 of 61) – it was 6-of-20 shooting from 3-point range – and 66 percent from the free-throw line (19 of 29).
Junior forward Matt Morgan, who had a career-high five blocked shots, had a team-high 7 rebounds, but the Lions were out-rebounded by 10 rebounds (45-35). UAFS allowed 15 offensive rebounds, which led to 18 second-chance points for the Eagles.
Oklahoma Christian, which led by 19 points at halftime (49-30), made 33 of 66 shots from the field – it was 10-of-22 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 67 percent from the free-throw line (12 of 18).
Senior guard Jordan Box led the Eagles with 29 points, including a team-high 5 3-pointers. Senior forward Roderick Smith had 12 points off the bench, junior guard Brian Carey had 11 points and sophomore forward York Benjamin had 10 points.
Senior forward Will Lienhard just missed a double-double, finishing with 8 points and a team-high 18 rebounds. He also had four of the Eagles’ six blocked shots.
OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN 88, UAFS 73
UAFS 30 43 — 73
Oklahoma Christian 49 39 — 88
UAFS (10-18, 4-12): Crawford 25, Williams 21, Morgan 7, Ekezie 5, Sivins 5, Bowie 3, Ward 2, Warren 2
Oklahoma Christian (10-16, 5-10): Box 29, Smith 12, Carey 11, Benjamin 10, Lienhard 8, Eggleston 6, Blackwell 4, Johnson 3, Glover 3, Walter 2
Story: UAFS Athletics