The Edmond Sun

March 4, 2013

UCO men advance in conference basketball tourney

Gibbs earns first-team All-MIAA honors

Special to The Sun

EDMOND — Seth Heckart spearheaded a record-setting 3-point shooting display that carried Central Oklahoma to a 103-89 thrashing of Southwest Baptist in the first round of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Post-season Tournament Monday night at Hamilton Field House.

The Bronchos shot a single-game school-record 65.4 percent from long range, connecting on an amazing 17-of-26 shots from beyond the arc.  Heckart led the way, hitting 5-of-6 long-range attempts as one of six players who made at least one 3-pointer.

It was UCO’s highest-scoring game since midway through the 2010-11 season and advanced the sixth-seeded Bronchos to Thursday’s quarterfinals against No. 3-seed Washburn in Kansas City, Mo.

“Obviously we shot the ball well, but this team is capable of that and we’re happy to be moving on to Kansas City,” head coach Terry Evans said.  “We’ve played really well the last month or so and we’re excited about our chances in Kansas City.”

The Bronchos improved to 14-13 with their seventh win in nine outings while winning their sixth straight at home.

UCO had five players in double figures, with Josh Gibbs and Spencer Smith scoring 18 apiece to lead the way.  Gibbs was 2-of-2 from 3-point range and Smith 3-of-4, while Heckart had 17 points on his 5-of-6 effort from long range.

Jamell Cormier made 4-of-6 treys in adding 14 points and six assists, while Christian Huffman chipped in 12 points.  Cal Andrews (2-of-4) and June Carter (1-of-1) also had 3-pointers for the Bronchos.

UCO trailed 14-12 before Gibbs scored seven points in an 18-0 scoring spree that gave the Bronchos a 30-14 lead.  It grew to a 20-point cushion at 38-18 on an Andrews trey at the 8:51 mark and the lead peaked at 27 (52-25) on Smith’s 3-pointer with 5:25 left.

Heckart drained a 25-footer at the halftime buzzer to give UCO a commanding 65-40 lead at the break and the Bronchos coasted in from there.

Also on Monday, Gibbs was named to the first-team All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Team, the conference announced.

Gibbs, a 6-5 junior guard from Kansas City, Mo. who sat out last year after playing the previous two seasons at Butler County Community College, is averaging 17.5 points and 6.3 rebounds a game for the Bronchos.

He averaged 19.2 points in conference-only games, ranking third in the league, and has scored 20 points 12 times this season.