Special to The Sun
UCO soccer ousted in nat’l tourney
MANKATO, Minn. — Central Oklahoma saw another banner soccer season come to an end here Sunday with a tough 1-0 loss to No. 17-ranked Minnesota State in the second round of the NCAA Division II Central Regional.
The Mavericks broke a tense scoreless tie with just over eight minutes left to play and held on the rest of the way to advance to next week’s regional finals against Central Missouri at a site to be determined.
The Bronchos, making their ninth national tournament appearance since 2000, finished the campaign 16-3-3.
“It’s a tough way to end the season, but you’re always going to be disappointed if you don’t win your final game,” said veteran head coach Mike Cook. “We had a great year and I’m really proud of what this team was able to accomplish.”
MSU outshot the Bronchos 18-6 — just the fourth time that happened all season — with goalkeeper Meagan Burke making a career-high eight saves to keep the Mavericks at bay.
UCO had four shots on goal in the second half, but couldn’t get a ball in the net and MSU finally took the lead at the 81:28 mark when Brianne West knocked in a goal to the right side just past a diving Burke.
It was the final game for eight seniors — Burke, Alyssa Anderson, Stephanie Fleig, Summer Grantham, Shayna Kindsvater, Malynda Lesneski, Angie Rundle and Brittni Walker.
UCO women’s basketball routs Cameron
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Alyssa Fuxa scored a career high-tying 28 points and Central Oklahoma bounced back from a season-opening loss with an 88-66 romp over Cameron on the second day of the St. Mary’s Classic here Sunday afternoon.
The Bronchos shot just 29.1 percent in Saturday’s 66-44 loss to Minnesota-Duluth, but hit at a 51.5-percent clip against the Aggies in evening their record at 1-1.
Fuxa led the way, hitting 12-of-19 shots with one 3-pointer and 3-of-4 free throws in her 28-point outing. The senior forward, who missed all last season with injury, added seven rebounds and also tied a career high with five assists.
Eleven players scored for UCO, with three others in double figures.
Freshman Haley Bryan hit 5-of-7 shots in scoring 12 points, older sister Jill made three treys in adding 11 points along with a career-high seven assists and three steals and freshman McKenzie Solberg had 10 points and seven rebounds.
“We were a lot more aggressive on the offensive end and it paid off for us,” UCO coach Guy Hardaker said. “I was really disappointed with how we played Saturday, but we came back and did a good job today.”
The Bronchos trailed only once, at 3-2, with Fuxa’s layup at the 18:56 mark putting UCO on top to stay.
Whitney Dunn’s layup at 13:55 pushed the lead to 17-6, but the Aggies whittled their deficit back to three at 17-14 with 11:32 left in the half.
Fuxa answered with a layup and then assisted on a Britney Morgan 3-pointer that made it 22-14 and UCO pushed its lead to 21 (51-32) by intermission.
Cameron tried to rally in the second half and got as close as 12 (67-55) with 7:01 left to play, but two straight buckets by Fuxa kept the Bronchos in control and they went on to their 11th straight win over the Aggies.
UCO goes back on the road next weekend, traveling to Denton, Texas for the Marriott Champions Circle Pioneer Premiere.
Central Oklahoma didn’t do much right in its 2012-13 season opener here Saturday afternoon in falling to Minnesota-Duluth 64-44 on the first day of the classic.
The Bronchos shot just 29.1 percent from the field, while also turning the ball over 25 times and getting outrebounded 51-29. UCO hit just 16-of-55 shots, including only 2-of-16 (12.5 percent) from 3-point range.
Alyssa Fuxa was the only player to score more than six points for the Bronchos, hitting 7-of-13 shots with a 3-pointer in a game-high 17 point outing in addition to blocking four shots.
UCO volleyball wins
Morgan Roy and Faith Harmon made sure the final home match of their Central Oklahoma careers ended on a good note in leading the Bronchos to a sweep of East Central Saturday night at Hamilton Field House.
Roy had a match-high 14 kills along with 11 digs and two service aces while Harmon had 33 assists, three aces and two assisted blocks as UCO rolled over the Tigers 25-20, 25-9, 25-17 in the regular season finale.
The Bronchos ended a four-match losing streak with the non-conference victory and finished the regular season 13-17. UCO earned the eighth and final berth in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Postseason Tournament and will go to either Nebraska-Kearney or Washburn for Tuesday’s first round.
“It was good to see our two seniors go out with a good win and both played well for us tonight,” first-year head coach Edgar Miraku said. “I thought we came out really ready to play and we were pretty consistent the entire match.”
The Bronchos also got a dominating outing at the net from Juliette Smith, who blocked nine shots (two solo, seven assisted) in addition to hitting .556 with five kills and no errors in nine attacks.
Talia Stanley chipped in nine kills and Tyler Gromann had four kills with four assisted blocks.
The first set went back-and-forth throughout, with 12 ties and eight lead changes.
UCO trailed 19-17 before reeling off seven unanswered points behind two Stanley kills and aces by Roy and Carissa Ophus to take a 23-19 lead. ECU scored to make it 24-20, but Stanley got another spike at the net to end it.
The Bronchos jumped out to an 11-4 lead in winning the second set and got three blocks from Smith in taking a quick 7-0 lead in the third en route to closing out the match.