February 28th, 2019
OKLAHOMA CITY- UAFS will finish regular-season play tonight when the Lions play the Oklahoma Christian Eagles in a pivotal Heartland Conference game at the Eagles Nest in Oklahoma City.
Only eight of the nine conference teams will qualify for the conference tournament, which will begin on Thursday, March 7, at the Union Multipurpose Activity Center in Tulsa, Okla.
St. Edward’s (24-2, 13-1), Dallas Baptist (20-8, 11-3), Lubbock Christian (19-8, 10-5), Newman (18-8, 9-5) and Rogers State (18-10, 7-7) have all clinched a spot in the conference tournament. That leaves four teams battling for three spots.
UAFS (10-17, 4-11) is in a three-way tie for seventh place in the conference with St. Mary’s (11-15, 3-11) and Texas A&M International (6-19, 3-11), the Lions split the regular-season series with both of those teams.
Both Texas A&M International and St. Mary’s have two remaining regular-season conference games, as does Oklahoma Christian (9-16, 4-10) which is in sixth place by only one game.
UAFS is coming off an impressive 26-point win against St. Mary’s in Saturday’s home finale at the Stubblefield Center. The Lions snapped a five-game losing streak and kept their postseason hopes alive.
The Lions average 75 points per game with four players averaging double-figures in scoring – senior guard Chris Crawford (16.2 ppg), junior guard Tyler Williams(13 ppg), junior guard Seth Hawley (11.9 ppg) and freshman forward David Ward (11.3 ppg). Crawford also leads the team in assists (3.6 apg).
UAFS averages 33 rebounds per game, and junior forward Matt Morgan leads the team in rebounds (5.9 rpg). The Lions allow 76 points per game and force 15 turnovers per game. Crawford leads the team in steals (1.6 spg), and Morgan leads the team in blocked shots (1.9 bpg).
The Lions will look to sweep its first conference series of the season with a win against the Eagles, who lost 92-70 to UAFS on Jan. 9 at the Stubblefield Center.
Oklahoma Christian has lost three games in a row and four of its past five games. The Eagles are coming off a 79-60 loss against Lubbock Christian on Saturday at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock, Texas.
The Eagles average 78 points per game with three players averaging double-figures in scoring – senior guard Jordan Box (15.9 ppg), senior forward Roderick Smith (12.6 ppg) and junior guard Aubrey Johnson (11.6 ppg). Junior guard Brian Carey leads the team in assists (2.9 apg).
Oklahoma Christian averages 41 rebounds per game, and senior forward Will Lienhard leads the team in rebounds (12.7 rpg). The Eagles allow 78 points per game and force 12 turnovers per game. Box and Smith lead the team in steals (0.9 spg), and Lienhard leads the team in blocked shots (2.5 bpg).
Story: UA Fort Smith Lions News