Men's Basketball: Balance, boards give Eagles lopsided win over Barclay


November 29, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 27, 2018) – The Oklahoma Christian Eagles had eight days to stew over a lopsided loss at their archrival, No. 5-ranked Southern Nazarene, a result OC men's basketball coach Cory Cole described as a "sickness."

When the Eagles finally had the chance to release their pent-up frustration on Tuesday night, they overwhelmed Barclay (Kan.), dominating from the tip and rolling to a 95-45 win in a nonconference game in the Eagles' Nest.

Six Eagles scored in double figures and Will Lienhard recorded his third career double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, increasing his NCAA Division II-leading per-game average to 13.4 boards per game. OC outrebounded the Bears 48-33, shot 50 percent from the field, had 19 steals and dominated in nearly every aspect of the game.

It was the sort of performance that encouraged Cole as the Eagles (3-2) head into a challenging rest of the week, with games at cross-Edmond rival Central Oklahoma on Thursday and at Newman (Kan.) on Saturday in the Heartland Conference opener for both teams.

"In games like this, it's tough to not get out of your rhythm and just kind of play the game the wrong way," Cole said. "Our guys did a good job sharing the basketball and doing the right things. We're trying to build upon getting better every day. The guys did that and it's good to see."

The 50-point winning margin was the largest of Cole's tenure with OC and the largest for the program since a 103-49 win over Central Bible (Mo.) in the annual homecoming game on Nov. 3, 2012. Barclay's 45 points were the fewest by an OC opponent since the Eagles beat Dallas Christian (Texas) 90-43 on Dec. 3, 2013.

"We got to get back in familiar territory, just being at home," Cole said. "After the long Thanksgiving break, guys just wanted to get out and compete against somebody new after the SNU sickness that we had. It was good to just get back in rhythm."

It took all of 66 seconds for OC to build a 7-0 lead, as Marcus Blackwell dunked, Jordan Box scored on a steal-and-layup sequence and Aubrey Johnson knocked down a 3-pointer. Barclay, a National Christian College Athletic Association squad that counted the game as an exhibition, never recovered.

OC scored 17 straight points to go up 40-13 with 5:52 left in the first half and led 54-23 at halftime after Harrison Martin swished a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. The Eagles scored the first nine points of the second half, with Braden Eggleston converting a three-point play and Johnson and Blackwell following with 3-pointers.

Roderick Smith led OC with 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. In just 19 minutes, Brian Carey had 13 points (going 3 of 3 from 3-point range), five assists and three steals. Box finished with 11 points, five assists, five rebounds and four steals. Blackwell and Eggleston each had 10 points, with the latter grabbing eight rebounds.

Only one player reached double figures for the Bears – Tyrone Beckam, with 11 points. R.L Smith had nine points and six rebounds for Barclay.

Cory Cole discusses the game:

Game highlights, courtesy of Eagle Media:


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