The UCO men’s basketball team recently suffered a tough loss against Fort Hays State.
Sophmore Josh Holliday prepares to shoot the basketball into the basket at the UCO vs. Southwest Baptist University Men’s game at the Hamilton Field House on Feb. 4, 2017. (Elizabeth Roberts/ The Vista).
In a game that saw six lead changes the UCO men’s basketball team came up short against Fort Hays State 67-66.
“We were competitive. We competed hard. When we were down we come back.” said UCO head coach Tom Hankins
It was a rough start for the Bronchos as they surrendered 25 points in the first 10 minutes of the game, but found a way to fight back and make it a 36-32 game at the half. It was much of the same story in the second half with a back and forth affair that would come down to the final seconds.
Sophomore guard Josh Holliday stole the Fort Hays State in-bounds pass and scored two of his team high 19 points taking a one point lead. In a blink of an eye Fort Hays State guard Rob Davis drove the length of the floor and hit a tough shot with 6.5 seconds left in the game. Sophomore guard Jordan London was able to get a good look at the buzzer but could not connect.
“Defensively we weren’t very good.” Tom Hankins said “We let them catch the ball in the post and score. They scored 36 points in the paint. That’s where we lost it.”
Senior Forward JaQuan Smith for Fort Hays State contributed early to the low post scoring nine of the teams first 14 points. Those would be his only points as he was in foul trouble for the rest of the game and fouled out midway through the second half. Junior forward Hadley Gillum had an outstanding game leading Fort Hays State with 25 points and 6 rebounds.
Senior guard Rob Davis came in leading the MIAA in scoring with 22 points a game, and finished with 15 points and 7 rebounds including the game winner.
“He goes and makes a play. A game winning play.” said Hankins.
Seniors Corbin Byford had 12 points and Corey Alpough had 10 points to join Holliday as the only Bronchos to score in double figures. The Bronchos had a hard time getting baskets to fall only hitting 27 percent from 3-point range and 40 percent overall.
“You can’t expect to play a good team and go 3 of 11 from three. We missed clutch free throws in the last few minutes of the game that was big.” Hankins said.
There is at least one positive to take away from this heart breaking loss it would be the Bronchos fight.
“We were competitive. We competed hard. When we were down we come back” Hankins said.
The Bronchos (15-10, 10-7) will look to get back on track when they take on Washburn Thursday.