On a night when shots weren't falling on a routine basis, the Oklahoma Baptist men's basketball squad found a way to nab a Great American Conference victory.
The Bison owned a 42-32 rebounding advantage with 17 boards coming off the offensive glass in a 60-57 triumph over Ouachita Baptist Thursday night at the Noble Complex.
“We had to have second-chance shots, put-backs and tip-outs,” said Oklahoma Baptist head coach Jason Eaker. “The key was finding a way to win with a lot of missed shots.”
The Bison shot just 38.7% for the game after hitting at a 43.8% pace in the first half. The visiting Tigers were at 43.1% for the game after firing at 55.2% in the second half to stay in contention.
Only two Oklahoma Baptist players – Burke Putnam and Nigel Wilcox – reached double figures. Putnam poured in a game-high 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including a pair of 3-point baskets. Wilcox contributed 11 points and nine rebounds.
“We needed every one of Burke's points to get out with the one-possession win,” Eaker said.
The Bison also received nine points, including three treys, from Jaquan Simms. D.J.Freeman added six points and eight rebounds off the bench for the winners.
Ma'Darius Hobson was the top scorer for the Tigers with 18 and teammate Tylar Haynes added 15.
Oklahoma Baptist had a 17-point advantage at 49-32 with 13:36 to go on a Trey Green 3-pointer.
However, from that point on, the Bison managed just three field goals the rest of the way – a 3-pointer each from Putnam and Green and a 2-pointer from Putnam off a drive to the basket.
Meanwhile, Ouachita outscored Oklahoma Baptist by a 25-11 margin over the final 13:20.
The Tigers pulled within 58-57 with 48 seconds to go before Wilcox drained two free shots with just 11 ticks on the clock. Ouachita had two long-range shots come up empty before the final buzzer sounded.
The Bison (12-6 overall, 9-3 in the GAC) are set to host Henderson State in another GAC clash at 3 p.m. Saturday.
This article originally appeared on The Shawnee News-Star: Oklahoma Baptist men pull out slim victory