UCO Men’s Basketball Splits the Series

The University of Central Oklahoma split their two games in the West Texas Thanksgiving Classic as they topped the Lubbock Christian Chaparrals and then fell to the No. 8 West Texas A&M Buffs.

The Bronchos defeated Lubbock Christian 68-63 on Friday with just two players in double figures. Josh Holliday, UCO’s leading scorer on the season who averages 19.5 points per game, only recorded 2 points in the game. Despite his shooting stuggles Holliday made his impact with seven assists, four rebounds and two steals.

“The guys came out ready to play tonight and came out with a good win,” said UCO Head Coach Tom Hankins after Fridays win. “We shot it well from outside and played good defense.”

The Bronchos shot 76.2 percent (10 of 23) from behind the arc.

Adarius Avery, who played all but one minute of the game, led the Bronchos in scoring with 23 points on 7 of 11 shooting, while also pulling in 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Along with his offensive stats, Avery blocked two shots and recorded two steals.

Jaylan Williams followed him with 18 points of his own. Williams shot 6-10 from the 3-point line despite shooting 4 of 16 throughout the season.

After their win, the Bronchos’would fall to the West Texas A&M Buffs 66-62 on Saturday. The Bronchos attempt to upset the Eagles was spoiled by Ryan Quaid, who was not only named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament, but also became the all-time leader in rebounds in West Texas A&M history with 791 rebounds.

“It was a tough loss, but I’m really proud of our guys for the way they battled tonight,” Hankins said. “We got down early and did a great job fighting back to give ourselves a chance and just came up a little short.”

Shooting just 36.4 percent from the field, UCO struggled shooting from the field. However the Bronchos were able to put some runs together as they battled back from a 15-point first half deficit and then a 10-point second half deficit to tie the game with just under three minutes remaining. But the Buffs would pull through to win 66-62, behind a pair of free-throws from Quaid to give him a game-high 22 points on the night.

Avery led UCO in scoring again with 21 points followed by Ashford Golden who had 15.

UCO is now 5-2 on the season. They will return home on Thursday and go into battle with the Oklahoma Christian University Eagles

at 7 p.m.

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