USAO rallies to knock off visiting Eagles 70-67

Will Reinke had 24 points and 12 rebounds in a loss at USAO.
Will Reinke had 24 points and 12 rebounds in a loss at USAO.

CHICKASHA, Okla. (Nov. 10, 2012) – Oklahoma Christian’s first road game of the season didn’t exactly follow the script written during the Eagles’ impressive 2-0 start.

OC led much of the second half at USAO, but surrendered the lead in the final six minutes and fell 70-67 to the Drovers. OC guard Kendre Talley missed a 3-point attempt in the final seconds that could have forced overtime.

OC (2-1) wasted a brilliant effort by center Will Reinke, who finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Reinke went 9-of-15 from the field, but his teammates combined to go 16-of-53. After halftime, the Eagles made just 1-of-7 3-point attempts and attempted only four free throws, making three.

USAO (4-0) went 11-of-16 from the line in the second half. Norris Rumph led the Drovers with 20 points while Brandon Cutler added 18.

As members of the Sooner Athletic Conference last season, the Eagles and Drovers played a pair of tight games and Saturday’s nonconference matchup was no different. Neither team led by more than nine points and the game was tied on eight occasions.

A layup by Rumph put the Drovers up 29-20 with 6:55 left in the first half, but OC closed the half on a 19-5 run. A 3-pointer by Nick Tate in the closing seconds gave the Eagles a 39-34 lead.

Willie Harper’s 3-pointer with 10:06 left gave OC its biggest lead at 58-52. USAO tied the game with about six minutes left and the Eagles never led again.

The game’s final deadlock came at 66-66 with 2:30 left after a basket by Reinke, but that was the Eagles’ final field goal. Phillip Harris’ layup with 2:05 left put the Drovers ahead for good. Reinke made 1-of-2 free throws with 1:03 left, but USAO’s Shavon Scott made two free throws with :08 left to extend the Drovers’ lead to 70-67.

OC’s six-game road stretch will continue Tuesday night when the Eagles visit another former SAC rival, Southern Nazarene.