Winning Streak Launches Bronchos into MIAA Tournament
The Bronchos wrapped up their regular season with victories over Fort Hays State Thursday and Nebraska Kearney on Saturday, clinching the eighth seed in the MIAA Conference Tournament. They will play Lincoln on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. with the winner taking on Northwest Missouri, the top ranked team in the country, Thursday.
UCO finished their regular season campaign 11-17 and 8-11 in the MIAA, reeling off four consecutive victories in do-or-die fashion after their longest losing streak in 70 seasons ended at eight.
Their postseason appearance was officially clinched after the victory over Fort Hays State Thursday evening. They beat the Tigers 80-73 in overtime, redeeming a loss earlier this season amidst their losing streak.
“Their resiliency has amazed me,” Head Coach Bob Hoffman said after the victory over the Tigers. “We lost a lot of games in row and they never quit fighting and now we’ve got a little win streak going and we made the postseason.”
Resiliency is the key word. UCO was tied for 13th in the MIAA just under two weeks ago before starting their win streak and getting some help from other teams beating those immediately ahead of them in the bottom of the standings.
The final regular season game was a nail-biter, won 68-64 over Nebraska Kearney, and guaranteeing the Bronchos the eighth seed out of ten in the MIAA tournament, locking them into a win-or-go-home showdown with ninth seeded Lincoln.
The Bronchos trailed by one with just over a minute to play in the game but locked in on both sides of the ball to win the final 90 seconds seven to zero. After many games of not finishing down the stretch of closely contested games, this was the perfect end to Bob Hoffman’s first regular season coaching the Bronchos.
“We could have given up when things got tough, and they got really tough, but our guys kept competing for each other now we’ve extended our season just a little bit.” said Hoffman.
UCO was led in scoring for the regular season by Dashawn McDowell at an even 11 points a game, closely followed by Cam Givens who poured in 10.7 points per contest.
Colt Savage and Cam Givens both shot over 40 percent from three, a heralded mark for sharpshooters at all levels of basketball. Freshman D.J. Basey led the Bronchos in overall field goal percentage at 61 percent.
The MIAA tournament will be broadcasted on 1560 AM in Oklahoma and streamable on TheMIAANetwork.com, with all games being played Wednesday-Sunday.