The Edmond Sun


January 17, 2013

UCO basketball drops two to Northeastern State

EDMOND — Northeastern State scored with 2.8 seconds left to thwart Central Oklahoma's spirited late rally and hand the Bronchos a tough 54-53 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association setback Wednesday night at Hamilton Field House.

The Bronchos overcame a 16-point deficit in the final 10 minutes to take their first and only lead of the game at 53-52 on Chelsi Dennis' 3-pointer with 17 seconds left, but NSU's Taylor Lewis rattled in a contested 10-foot jumper 14 seconds later and UCO couldn't get a shot off before the final buzzer.

It was the fifth straight league loss for the Bronchos, who dropped to 8-7 and 1-6.  The RiverHawks improved to 10-5 and 5-2.

Rachel New led UCO with 13 points, while freshman Whitney Dunn had 12 off the bench. Alyssa Fuxa added 10 points and Dennis finished with eight.

Lewis had a game-high 19 points in leading NSU.

Neither team shot well, with the Bronchos hitting only 19-of-58 shots (32.8 percent) and the RiverHawks 19-of-54 (35.2 percent).

UCO missed its first nine shots of the game in falling behind 9-0 and trailed 15-3 nine minutes into the game. The deficit peaked at 14 (20-6) at the 9:10 mark, with the Bronchos getting within seven (26-19) at intermission on Hayley Bryan's 3-pointer with three seconds remaining.

Central was within six (32-26) in the opening minutes of the second half before NSU went on a 12-2 run to stretch its advantage to a game-high 16 at 44-28 with 9:33 left to play.

But the Bronchos didn't fold, reeling off 10 unanswered points to get back in the game. Jordan Ward started the spurt with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and New did the rest, sandwiching a pair of high-floating layups around a deep 3-pointer to get UCO within six (44-38) with 6:59 left.

The RiverHawks still had a seven-point lead at 50-43 with 3:22 to play before the Bronchos made their last surge.

Fuxa drained a trey from the wing, Ward followed an NSU miss with a driving layup and Dennis went coast-to-coast after rebounding another errant shot to draw UCO even (50-50) at the 1:15 mark.

The RiverHawks hit a layup at 0:40 to go back in front, setting the stage for Dennis' 3-pointer from the corner that gave the Bronchos their brief lead and Lewis' game-winner.

UCO is back home again Saturday afternoon, hosting league foe Northwest Missouri at 1:30 p.m.

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