Special to The Sun
Philip Brown and Josh Gibbs spearheaded a dominating inside game that carried Central Oklahoma to a 92-75 bashing of Missouri Western Saturday afternoon at Hamilton Field House.
The two post players combined for 42 points and 24 rebounds, with the 6-foot-7 Brown posting season highs for points (25), rebounds (10) and blocked shots (four) while the 6-5 Gibbs added 17 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
It was an overwhelming win for the Bronchos, who never trailed in bouncing back strong from Thursday’s tough 72-70 loss to Central Missouri. UCO improved to 8-3 on the season and 2-2 in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play headed into the holiday break while dropping the Griffons to 6-5 and 1-2.
“We did a great job working the ball inside to our big guys and they finished strong,” said head coach Terry Evans, whose team outscored Missouri Western 46-22 in the paint. “We made some careless turnovers in the second half to let them stay in the game, but I thought overall we played pretty well.”
Aaron Anderson nearly had a triple-double with 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, while Cal Andrews made three 3-pointers in adding 13 points and three assists.
The game was tied at 2-2 before Central went ahead to stay when Anderson made 1-of-2 free throws. Andrews followed a Brown steal with a 3-pointer and Brown hit a layup to quickly up the lead to 8-2.
It was a double-digit advantage at 16-5 on Anderson’s driving layup six minutes into the contest, but MWSU battled back to within four (23-19) at the 9:19 mark.
Central Oklahoma responded with a 20-5 run capped by back-to-back layups by Anderson that bumped the lead to 19 at 43-24 with 3:41 left and the Bronchos took a 49-30 cushion into halftime.
Buckets by Brown and Seth Heckart to open the second half pushed the lead to 23 (53-30) and it was still a 22-point margin (71-49) at the 9:32 mark when MWSU’s full-court pressure briefly got the Griffons back in the game.
The Bronchos committed four turnovers in a three-minute stretch as Missouri Western pulled within 12 (76-64) with 6:55 left to play, but Brown’s one-hand slam off an Andrews feed and Anderson’s layup after a Heckart steal pushed the lead back to 16 at 80-64 with 5:49 remaining.
The Griffons had no answer to that and UCO cruised in from there.