Kierstin Stolley, Southwestern Sports Information
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – The Southwestern College men's basketball suffered its second-straight loss by less than four points Saturday evening in Bartlesville, Okla. The Moundbuilders were defeated by the Eagles of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, 79-76, inside the Mueller Sports Center.
DJ Wallace led all scorers with 24 points. The Duncanville, Texas, native went 8-for-15 from the floor and 8-for-11 from the free-throw line. Wallace added five rebounds and three assists during the game. Sophomore Cameron Hunt was the only other Moundbuilder to reach double-digits with 17 points. Hunt also added two rebounds, three assists, and a steal on the night.
Oklahoma Wesleyan's Breiman Alexander led all scorers with 17 points and six rebounds.
Southwestern (15-9, 8-8 KCAC) shot 43.1 percent (25-58) from the floor, and just 28.6 percent (8-28) from three-point range. The Moundbuilders converted 72 percent (18-25) of their free throws, and were out-rebounded by the Eagles, 44-35.
The entire first half was a constant back-and-forth battle that featured five ties and 11 lead changes, and neither team led by more than seven points. Oklahoma Wesleyan (9-13, 6-9 KCAC) took a 16-12 lead at the 14:31 mark. Southwestern countered immediately with five-straight points to take a 17-16 lead less than a minute later. Cameron Hunt scored five-straight points to give Southwestern a 28-25 lead just past the 10-minute mark, but OKWU answered with a 6-3 spurt to force a 31-31 tie. That script continued until halftime. The Eagles led for the final seven minutes of the half, and stretched their lead to seven (44-37) at the 4:10 mark, but Southwestern closed the half on an 8-4 run to cut the deficit to 48-45 at halftime.
The two teams picked up where they left off following the halftime break. Wallace opened the final period with a jumper that sparked a 6-2 run that gave Southwestern a 51-50 lead after an Alan Hodge bucket with 18:43 left in the game. Oklahoma Wesleyan answered with a 6-0 run of its own to regain a 56-51 lead at the 15:40 mark. Hunt, Barrington Hunter and Wallace each converted a pair of free throws to form a 6-0 spurt that gave the Moundbuilders another one point lead, 57-56, with 13:04 to play, but again, the Eagles countered with an 8-3 run to take a 64-60 lead. Two ties and five lead changes highlighted the final 10 minutes of the game. Southwestern led by as many as three, 71-68, after a Hunt triple with 6:20 to play, but the Eagles responded with a 9-1 run to take a 77-72 lead at the 2:10 mark. Greg McCoy followed a Wallace jumper with a pair of free throws to pull the Moundbuilders to within one, 77-76, with 14 seconds remaining. OKWU answered with a pair of free throws on the other end of the court to push its lead back to three. Southwestern had a shot at overtime in the final seconds of the game, but Hodge's three-point attempt rimmed out, and Oklahoma Wesleyan held on for the 79-76 win.
Southwestern is back home on Thursday, Feb. 2nd. The Builders host the Bethel Threshers inside Stewart Field House for an 8 p.m. tip-off.