Alva Review-Courier -

SNU clinches spot in GAC Tournament with win over OBU

 

February 15, 2019



BETHANY, Okla. — After failing to qualify for the Great American Conference Championship Tournament a season ago, Southern Nazarene is headed back to Bartlesville in March with an 82-78 win over rival Oklahoma Baptist.

The win clinched a berth in the tournament for the Crimson Storm (13-10, 12-5 GAC) with five more regular season games still on the schedule. It is the earliest that SNU has clinched a spot in the GAC Tournament since joining NCAA Division II.

Alexus Jones had another sensational night inside the Sawyer Center as she scored 23 points on 6-of-12 shooting and 11-for-14 from the free-throw line. She also dished out five assists and pulled down four rebounds. Freshman Jaycee Soap had a career night off the bench as she poured in a career-best 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 3-of-6 from behind the three-point line.

Adrienne Berry also had an excellent night for the Storm as she finished with 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting as she also buried four triples. Madeline Schroepfer chipped in five points and seven rebounds for SNU as well.

Southern Nazarene shot an even 40 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the three-point line. Both teams took great care of the ball as the Storm gave the ball away just five times while OBU coughed it up eight times. The Bison won the rebounding battle 38-34 but SNU's benched outscored Oklahoma Baptist 26-6.

Both teams had it going on the offensive side in the opening quarter as the Bison shot 54.5 percent from the floor while the Storm shot 41.2 percent. SNU knocked down 4-of-8 (50%) three-point attempts in the quarter to take a 19-16 lead into the second.

The Crimson Storm's hot hand from downtown carried over into the second quarter as SNU buried a couple of triples early to bump their lead to 27-21. Berry caught fire in the second, burying three from behind the arc as the Storm shot 42 percent and took a 41-34 lead into the locker room.

Southern Nazarene was able to extend their lead to double-digits in the third, but Oklahoma Baptist knocked down a couple of threes to cut it to 47-43 with 4:23 to play. The Storm held the Bison to 36 percent shooting as they were able to take a 57-51 lead into the final frame.

Soap's three-pointer with 3:30 to play in the fourth gave SNU another double-digit lead at 70-59 and the Storm knew they had the Bison right where they wanted them. The Bison tried to make a push in the closing minutes and gave the Storm a scare in the final minute. OBU cut the lead to 76-73 with 1:03 to play, but that's the closest the Bison came down the stretch as SNU knocked down big free throws to clinch it.

Southern Nazarene now turns its attention to the number one ranked team in the GAC in Southwestern Oklahoma State who they'll play on Saturday inside the Sawyer Center at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs are currently riding a 22 game winning streak and are ranked No. 13 in the country.

 

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