The Edmond Sun

Sports

February 2, 2013

UCO basketball splits with Kearney

KEARNEY, Neb. — Josh Gibbs and Cal Andrews combined for 43 points to spark Central Oklahoma to an 85-75 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association victory over Nebraska-Kearney here Friday night.

Gibbs finished with a game-high 23 points and Andrews added a season-best 20 as the Bronchos won for the fifth time in their last six league road games. UCO improved to 8-11 on the season and 6-5 in the MIAA.

“It’s been a tough week with three road games in six days, but I thought our guys played with great effort tonight,” said head coach Terry Evans, whose team won at Emporia State Sunday before losing at Fort Hays State Wednesday.  “We did a good job moving the ball around and we knocked down a lot of big shots.”

The Bronchos collected 23 assists on 31 made field goals and ended up shooting 44.0 percent (11-of-25) from 3-point range while also committing just nine turnovers.

Gibbs was 10-of-19 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers in his 23-point outing in addition to pulling down eight rebounds and handing out four assists.  Andrews made 5-of-7 long-range shots in his 20-point performance.

UCO also got 12 points and 10 rebounds from Spencer Smith along with 11 points, five assists and four rebounds from Christian Huffman.

Gibbs had 14 points in helping stake the Bronchos to a 40-32 halftime lead and back-to-back fast-break dunks by Huffman helped push that to a 12-point advantage at 52-40 with 15:44 left to play.

UCO’s lead peaked at 14 (65-51) on a Seth Heckart trey at the 9:17 mark, with the Lopers coming back to make it a five-point game at 72-67 with 3:01 remaining.  But the Bronchos responded, getting a fast-break layup from Andrews and two foul shots from Jamell Cormier to push the lead back to nine (76-67) at 1:51 and seal the verdict.

Gibbs put UCO in front to stay with 7:56 left in the opening half on a short jumper that made it 22-21 and Andrews had a pair of 3-pointers — adding a free throw after the second for a rare four-point play — as the Bronchos quickly pushed the lead to double digits at 36-25 before setting for the eight-point halftime cushion.

UCO returns home to host league leader Central Missouri at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

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