Special to The Sun
Central Oklahoma misfired from close range and long distance alike Saturday afternoon at Hamilton Field House in falling to Northwest Missouri 65-55.
The Bronchos missed 24 layups, converting just 11-of-35 attempts from around the basket, and made only 5-of-23 tries from beyond the 3-point arc in dropping their sixth straight Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics contest.
UCO started the game with nine straight misses — four of those layups — and ended up shooting a season-worst 26.9 percent (18-of-67). The Bronchos fell to 8-8 overall and 1-7 in the MIAA, while NWMSU improved to 10-5 and 4-3.
Sisters Hayley (11 points) and Jill (10) Bryan were UCO’s top scorers, while McKenzie Solberg added nine.
Amazingly, the Bronchos trailed only 27-26 at halftime after falling behind 10-0 to open the game and UCO went ahead by three (30-27) when Solberg started the second half with consecutive layups.
The lead grew to five (34-29) on Jordan Ward’s 3-pointer from the corner and it was a three-point advantage (36-33) at the 15:52 mark when Fuxa converted a layup in traffic after a Jill Bryan steal.
The Bearcats answered back with a 7-2 run to regain the lead for good at 40-36, though UCO trailed just 48-47 after Solberg’s rainbow 3-pointer from the wing with 7:16 left to play.
But the Bronchos committed seven turnovers and hit just 2-of-7 field goals the rest of the way as NWMSU pulled away to hand UCO its fourth straight home defeat.
The game looked like it would be a rout early after the Bearcats jumped out to a 10-0 lead four minutes in and the deficit was 11 at 14-3 when the Bryan sisters took over.
Hayley had seven points and Jill five in a 14-0 scoring spurt that gave the Bronchos a 17-14 lead and the teams went back-and-forth the rest of the half, with Chelsi Dennis’ 3-pointer at the 38-second mark pulling UCO within one at the break.
UCO MEN FALL 71-57
Another poor shooting outing led to a second straight home loss for Central Oklahoma Saturday afternoon as the Bronchos fell to Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association rival Northwest Missouri 71-57.
UCO made 19-of-51 field goal tries, a 37.3 percent success rate that included 6-of-23 (26.1 percent) shooting from 3-point range. The Bronchos weren’t much better from the foul line, making just 13-of-25 (52.0 percent) of their free throws.
The Bearcats also held a 37-25 rebounding advantage in improving to 12-4 overall and 5-2 in the league. UCO fell to 6-10 and 4-4.
Josh Gibbs led the Bronchos with 20 points and seven rebounds, hitting 3-of-6 attempts from long range. June Carter contributed 12 points and Christian Huffman 11.
UCO led only once, at 2-0 on Gibbs’ layup a minute into the contest. The Bronchos tied it 7-all on a Gibbs 3-pointer before NWMSU went ahead to stay with a 7-1 run that made it 14-8.
Gibbs drained another trey at the 8:55 mark to pull UCO within one (15-14), but the Bearcats answered with a 3-pointer of their own and went on to take a 31-20 halftime lead.
Huffman’s steal and driving layup had the Bronchos within five (33-28) four minutes into the second half, but NWMSU came back with five unanswered points to take a double digit lead (38-28) and led comfortably the rest of the way.
The UCO teams are off until traveling to Emporia State on Sunday, Jan. 27 to resume MIAA play.