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A Winning Weekend for OPSU Hoops

KSCB News - November 16, 2015 6:43 am

A Winning Weekend for OPSU Men’s Basketball

By Justine Gaskamp on 11/15/2015

Goodwell, Okla.-Aggie basketball fans are in for a treat this season,
judging from the two action-packed season openers that took place Friday and
Saturday, as the OPSU men’s team notched two wins against Western New
Mexico.

Friday night the Aggies announced their presence with authority taking a
21-point victory over the Mustangs in game one of the two-day series.
Allowing just one score-tie early in the game, the Aggie men dominated on
defense by forcing 37 turnovers which added 23 points to the board in the
78-57 win.

Newcomer, Zoran Arsenovic, a senior transfer from Metro State, totaled a
game-high with ten rebounds and earned a double-double with 14 points.
Junior guard Melvin Mitchell opened his season with a game-high of 19 points
on five field goals, three long distance shots and six-of-eight from the
free-throw line. The Aggies averaged 37 percent both from the field and
three-point range, while WNM shot at 40 percent from the field but were held
to just seven percent from beyond the arc.

Head Coach Jerry Olson was pleased with the defensive pressure applied in
Friday’s match-up with the Mustangs and commented, "I was really happy with
Zoran’s [Arsenovic] rebounding; he played well at both ends." He added,
"This was a good team win and I thought we played with a lot of energy."

On Saturday the Aggies saw an improved Western New Mexico team that battled
in both halves of their second meeting on the court. The Aggies got off to a
great start taking a 12-point advantage (21-9) at the 12:39 mark with the
help of back-back threes from senior Jared Straight. The Mustangs turned up
the heat and slowly edged the Aggies out of the lead; WNM held a six-point
(42-36) lead going into the break.

The visitors continued to roll in the second half gaining as much as a
12-point edge over the Aggies; but OPSU bounced back midway through the
second period to tie things up at 54-54 with another three-pointer, this
time from Melvin Mitchell. The Aggies put on the pressure which forced the
Mustangs to start taking fouls; the Aggies went 15-18 from the line and
scored with five layups in the final ten minutes of play and earned their
second win of the season by a score of 81-72.

The Mustangs improved their shooting to an average of 46 percent from the
line and landed 6-18 from three-point range to average 33 percent in long
distance shots. OPSU remained steady from the field at 37 percent and
dropped to 19 percent in three-point shots making 4-21 attempts. WNM also
did better on ball protection committing 14 less turnovers in Saturday’s
game.

Senior Antonio Manns, Jr. was back in full-form scoring 28 points to lead
the game; Manns went 9-19 from the field and 10-14 at the line. Freshman
Dedrick Shannon, Jr. also landed double digits with 15 points as well as
Melvin Mitchell with ten and Zoran Arsenovic who earned another
double-double scoring 11 points and leading the game with 12 rebounds.

For the two-game series Manns led the Aggie men in scoring totaling 37
points followed by Mitchell who earned 29 points and led the team with five
three-pointers; Straight landed 4-9 long distance shots. Shannon totaled
eight assists on the weekend and averaged 11.5 points per game. Arsenovic
totaled 22 rebounds and seven steals and averaged 12.5 points per game.

Olson added after Saturday’s game, "I was really impressed with how Western
New Mexico came out and competed hard and pleased that we were able to fight
through adversity and come back for the win. With the exception of the last
ten minutes of the first half, I was pleased with our defensive pressure and
how we were able to get some easy baskets off the press. Antonio [Manns] and
Zoran both played really well and Jared [Straight], Sita [Sesay] and DeShawn
[Stephens] all gave good minutes."

The Aggies take the court again on Tuesday (Nov. 17) against Barclay College
with a 7 p.m. tip-off. Aggie fans are encouraged to bring canned or
non-perishable food items for the Aggies CAN Make a Difference Food Drive
benefitting the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry of Guymon. For each food item
received fans will get one ticket entered into a raffle to win a
personalized OPSU basketball jersey and signed Aggie basketball.

###

Justine Gaskamp

 

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