OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 8, 2012) – Probably the most disappointed person that Oklahoma Christian has finished its first-semester men’s basketball schedule is Will Reinke, because the Eagles’ 6-foot-10 center has been on a serious roll.
Reinke finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots and Kendre Talley added 13 points and matched his career high with 13 assists as OC rallied to beat hot-shooting Southwestern Christian 81-75 on Saturday night on Dan Hays Court in the Eagles’ Nest.
Reinke had five dunks en route to a 7-of-9 shooting performance. In wins this week over Dallas Christian (Texas), Mid-America Christian and Southwestern Christian, Reinke had 17 dunks, including one coast-to-coast number in the MACU game that landed the senior from Lawton on numerous local and national websites.
But unlike the first two games of the week for OC (7-4), Saturday’s game was anything but a blowout. Southwestern Christian (4-8) shot a sizzling 15-of-27 (55.6 percent) from 3-point range. Seven different players for SCU made at least one 3-pointer, led by Tyler Averill (5-for-8, 23 points) and Clint Amberry (3-for-5, 13 points).
“How often do you win a game when the other team goes 15-of-27 from 3?” OC coach Dan Hays said. “It’s not like we weren’t guarding them. They’re a really fine team. They can be a real factor in NAIA Division II. I’m pleased with our reaching down. We could have folded.
“I was a little worried about it being our third game this week. But we have a long break now, so we’ll sit back and relax. We’ve got a couple of things we need to add. We’re getting better. We’re not close to where we can be. Maybe second semester we can ramp it up a little bit.”
SCU’s hot shooting turned what looked early like an OC runaway into a nail-biter for the Eagles. OC led by 13 points less than six minutes into the game, but SCU took a 44-40 lead into halftime and held the advantage until Eric Randall put OC ahead 59-58 with a free throw with 8:25 left.
SCU led by as many as eight points and was up 56-50 with 13:39 left, but an 18-4 run by OC put the Eagles up 68-60. SCU didn’t go down easy, though, keeping it a single-digit game until the end.
Reinke’s final dunk, with 22.4 seconds left, gave OC an 81-72 lead and finally sealed the win.
“It was a good win,” Hays said. “Believe me. This wasn’t a back up and take a breath of fresh air and say ‘I’m glad that’s over’ type of game. This was a really good win.”
OC struggled from the free-throw line, making just 11-of-22 attempts (50 percent), but shot 51.6 percent from the field (32 of 62). Brandon Troutman went 4-of-8 from 3-point range and scored 16 points for the Eagles, and Nick Tate also added 16 points as part of a balanced OC scoring effort. Tate also had three steals.
“The real key was Kendre, Willie (Harper) and Nick and the defensive pressure they put on in the middle of the second half,” Hays said. “That was what I thought really won the game.”
OC will be off until Jan. 3, when the Eagles host Heartland Conference foe Newman (Kan.).