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Aggie Update: Tournament Time

Brock Kappelmann - February 26, 2019 6:39 am

Goodwell, Okla. – The Oklahoma Panhandle State University men’s basketball team will be making its first appearance in a conference post-season tournament in well over a decade when the team takes the court in the Sooner Athletic Conference championship tournament on Tuesday (Feb. 26/8 p.m.). OPSU (15-13) will be the No. 8-seed in the SAC tournament, traveling to No. 1-seed Wayland Baptist University (24-6) at the Hutcherson Center in Plainview.

The winner of Tuesday’s bout will advance to the SAC semifinals on Friday, March 1. The SAC championship contest will take place on Saturday, March 2 (the semifinals and finals will also both be on the campus of Oklahoma City University).

GAME NOTES:
*FOLLOW THE AGGIES: Links for live video and live statistics can both be found on the Panhandle State athletics web site: www.opsuaggies.com<http://www.opsuaggies.com>

*OPSU AT-A-GLANCE: The Aggies will be looking to regain some of its early-season traction entering the SAC tourney. The Aggies went 3-4 to close the year. The Panhandle State offensive side of the floor is averaging a healthy 84.6 points per game. In all, five Aggies are averaging in double figures, led by senior guard Breiman Alexander, checking in at 24.0 points per game and 106 three-point baskets made. Alan Hodge and Khallid Edwards average 15.9 and 15.7 points per game, respectively. Baris Ulker averages 15.2 points and a team-leading 8.1 rebounds per game, posting 10 double-doubles in 2018-19. Jaedon Whitfield caps the Aggies’ quintet of double-digit scorers at 11.6 p.p.g.

*SCOUTING THE PIONEERS: Wayland Baptist enters the tourney not only as the No. 1-seed, but also as the ninth-ranked team in all of NAIA Division I men’s basketball. WBU is currently riding the crest of a six-game win streak and are shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor as a team. The Pioneers are paced by J.J. Culver’s 18.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, while dishing out 3.0 assists per game, as well. Trevonta Robertson and Josh Throns average 17.4 and 12.9 points per game, respectively.

*LAST MEETINGS: The Aggies played the nationally-ranked Pioneers close in both regular season meetings, losing by six (82-76) in Plainview on January 15 and falling at home by 10 points (97-87) on Feb. 12. In that last meeting in Goodwell, Khallid Edwards and Alan Hodge each booked 19 points for OPSU.

*REMEMBER WHEN: The Aggies last conference post-season action came on March 1, 2006 when the Aggies – then members of the NCAA II Heartland Conference – traveled to Montana State University-Billings (a game OPSU lost by an 80-67 score).

* ALEXANDER THE GREAT: Panhandle State senior Breiman Alexander’s 24.0 points per game average leads the entire SAC and ranks second in the nation in scoring for NAIA Division I. Alexander has scored in double figures in all 26 games in which he has played this season.

*HOT DOWN THE STRETCH: Khallid Edward’s was on fire the closing weekend of the regular season, with back-to-back games of a season-high 23 points versus SAGU and 22 points at Texas Wesleyan. He hit 18-26 from the field (69%) and was 9-of-15 (60%) from beyond the arc.

*COMPLETE TOURNAMENT BRACKET:
(at campus sites)
Tuesday’s Games
Quarterfinals
Game 1: No. 5 Oklahoma City (18-10) at No. 4 Langston (21-9), 7 p.m.
Game 2: No. 6 Mid-America Christian (19-11) at No. 3 USAO (20-9), 8 p.m.
Game 3: No. 7 Southwestern Assemblies of God (19-11) at No. 2 John Brown (21-9), 7 p.m.
Game 4: No. 8 Panhandle State (15-13) at No. 1 Wayland Baptist (24-6), 8 p.m.

(at Abe Lemons Arena
Oklahoma City)
Friday’s Games
Semifinals
Times TBD
Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 4
Game 6: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

Saturday, March 2
Championship
Game 7: Semifinal winners, 4 p.m.

Dave Beyer

Lady Aggies head to OKC for SAC tourney opener

Goodwell, Okla. – This week, the 2018-19 Oklahoma Panhandle State University women’s basketball team will be embarking on a journey no Aggies’ squad has taken in their sport since the 2005-06 campaign: a trip to a conference post-season tournament. OPSU (14-14) will be the No. 8-seed in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament, traveling to No. 1-seed Oklahoma City University on Tuesday (6 p.m.).

The winner of Tuesday’s bout will advance to the SAC semifinals on Friday, March 1. The SAC championship contest will take place on Saturday, March 2 (the semifinals and finals will also both be on the campus of OCU).

GAME NOTES:
*FOLLOW THE AGGIES: Links for live video and live statistics can both be found on the Panhandle State athletics web site: www.opsuaggies.com<http://www.opsuaggies.com>

*OPSU AT-A-GLANCE: The Aggies clinched their post-season slot by upsetting Southwestern Assemblies of God last Thursday, 73-70, on the road. SAGU finished tied for fourth in the final SAC standings, but OPSU had its number by defeating the Lady Lions both times in the regular season. On the year, junior guard Addison Munsch leads the Aggies in both scoring (15.6 p.p.g.) and rebounds (6.9 r.p.g.), while also rolling up five double-double games and averaging 2.3 assists per contest. Senior guard Taylor Acosta also averages in double digits at 11.7 p.p.g. and tops Panhandle at 2.7 assists per game. Fellow senior guard Monti Regier averages 7.5 points per game, with 189 of her 210 points (90%) scored this year coming from beyond the three-point line!

*SCOUTING THE STARS: Oklahoma City (27-3) is not only the top-seeded team in the SAC tourney, but also ranked No. 10 nationally among all NAIA Division I women’s basketball teams. The Stars’ three losses have all come versus nationally-ranked teams (twice to Wayland Baptist and once to Our Lady of the Lake). Averaging better than 79 points per game as a team, OCU is led by Abby Selzer, whose 17.0 p.p.g. bubbles to the top of her team’s statistics, while also leading the Stars at 7.1 rebounds per game. Selzer is also the top shooting Star at 64.6 percent (192-297) from the field. Mallory Lockhart is OCU’s only other double-digit scorer at 11.7 p.p.g. In all, eight OCU players average better than 5.0 points per game.

*LAST MEETINGS: The Aggies lost both regular-season meetings to the Stars in 2018-19. In the first meeting of the year in OKC, Panhandle fell by an 80-51 decision and then lost the return visit in Goodwell by an 88-42 count back on February 14. Taylor Acosta led Panhandle State with 13 points in the last outing, while Nadia Hayes added 11.

*LONG TIME COMING: Extinguishing the Aggies’ 12-year post-season drought is especially sweet for Head Coach Victor Esparza, himself an alum of OPSU (cl. 2008). In his first season guiding Panhandle State in 2017-18, Esparza’s Aggies tied for the final tourney berth, but lost out on a spot based on tie-breaker criteria.

*SAGU GOT “ACOSTA’D”: In the SAC tourney-clinching win at Southwestern Assemblies of God, Panhandles’ diminutive guard Taylor Acosta was a one-person wrecking crew. The 5’2″ senior had a team-leading 19 points, including burying seven from three-point range. Acosta was an efficient 7-of-13 from the field, grabbed three rebounds and had a game-high five assists.

*MUNSCH HAS A BUNCH OF POINTS: Junior Addison Munsch reached 1,000 career points in the Aggies’ loss at Texas Wesleyan on Saturday.

*COMPLETE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:
(At campus sites)
Tuesday’s Games
Quarterfinals
Game 1: No. 5 Mid-America Christian (20-8) at No. 4 Southwestern Assemblies of God (20-10), 6 p.m.
Game 2: No. 6 John Brown (17-12) at No. 3 USAO (20-10), 6 p.m.
Game 3: No. 7 Texas Wesleyan (14-16) at No. 2 Wayland Baptist (25-5), 6 p.m.
Game 4: No. 8 Panhandle State (14-14) at No. 1 Oklahoma City (27-3), 6 p.m.

(At Abe Lemons Arena
Oklahoma City)
Friday’s Games
Semifinals
Times TBD
Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 4
Game 6: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

Saturday, March 2
Championship
Game 7: Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Dave Beyer

 

 

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