By Mike Tupa
One mid-sized upset and one grueling battle down to the last wire defined men’s play Friday at the Great American Conference championship basketball tournament in Bartlesville.
On the women’s side, meanwhile, Southeastern Oklahoma suffered a 73-63 loss at the hands of Harding, while Henderson State sent Ouachita Baptist packing.
During the two-day quarterfinals of the event — being played out on the hardwood of the Bruin Fieldhouse — only one lower seed won out of eight games.
Play continues through Sunday’s championship games — 1 p.m. for the men and 3:30 p.m. for the women.
Following are summaries of Friday’s contests:
Women: Harding 73, Southeastern Oklahoma 63 — Harding blistered the nets (59 percent, 27-of-46) on field goals to oust SOSU.
No one shot better from the floor than Harding’s Kellie Lampo. She drilled 8-of-8 from two-point territory and finished with a team-best 19 points. Lampo also pulled down nine boards.
Amanda Kearney and Sydney Layrock added 12 points apiece.
Courtney Brady and Sa’Liesha Hunter buried 16 and 15 points, respectively, to spearhead SOSU’s attack.
Harding led by 12 after three quarters, 57-45.
Women: Henderson State 66, Ouachita Baptist 50 — in the most lopsided game of the day, Haleigh Henson hammered the nets for 22 points, followed by Pink Jones with 14, to lead Henderson.
But, Henderson struggled from three-point territory (14 percent, 3-of-21).
Ouachita — which was outscored by eight points in each half — turned to Alvia Huell for most its scoring (15 points), followed by Shakyla Begnaud with 10. Ouachita canned just 31 percent of its shots (19-of-61), and made only two three-pointers.
Men: Arkansas-Monticello 97, East Central 86 (2ot) — Arkansas-Monticello almost called this the one that got away. The Weevils bolted to a 44-31 halftime lead — only to see East Central tie it up by the end of regulation, 74-74. The teams remained deadlocked, 80-80, at the end of the first overtime.
But, the Weevils — who are coached by Kyle Tolin — erupted for 17 points in the second extra period.
Derylton HIll scorched the nets with 10-of-10 free throw shooting and finished with 27 points for Arkansas-Monticello. He also grabbed 11 boards for a double-double.
Cobe Goosby added 19 points, followed by Keelin Jackson and Karim Mawuenyega with 18 and 12 points, respectively.
The Weevils sizzled at the free throw stripe (23-of-26).
East Central’s Camron Talley tallied 27 points, followed by Da’Rion King with 14 and Marcus Lytle with 12.
The Weevils dominated the boards, 46-to-31.
Men: Southeastern Oklahoma 85, Arkansas Tech 83 — to put it simply, Ark Tech was not in a mood to go home.
That’s why if this the ebb-and-flow of this battle were put to music, the end result would sound like an accordion special.
Every time the SOSU Savage Storm widened their lead, the Ark Tech Wonder Boys squeezed the gap tighter.
Kevin Buckingham and Markell Henderson each scored 20 to lead SOSU; Henderson hit 7-of-9 from the field and Buckingham dropped in 9-of-10 free throws.
Alex Brown heated up to score 27 for the Wonder Boys, followed by R.J. Glasper with 24.
When Buckingham flushed two free throws at the 4:28 mark, SOSU led by 12 and appeared to be ready to put the lock on the win.
Not so fast.
Moments later, Tech’s Freddy Lee drove in from the right wing, faked an inside move, shuffled the other way, drew contact and threw up a left-handed shot — while he was falling on his back — which dropped through the cords. He also hit his subsequent free throws to narrow the lead back to nine, 76-67.
A pair of free throws by Montrell Williams — at the 3:49 mark — cut SOSU’s lead to seven, 76-69.
With 3:15 to go, SOSU’s Jett Jobe had a chance to put it away, but his three-pointer went partway into the hoop and rimmed out.
By the 1:03 mark, Tech trailed by just three, 81-78.
But, the Storm made three free throws during about an 11-second stretch to stretch their lead to 84-78 — with only 13 ticks showing on the clock.
Tech’s Glasper answered quickly with a trey — launched from about 10 feet inside the midcourt line.
But, a free throw by Buckingham, with 5.5 seconds remaining, sealed the triumph by making it a four-point game, 85-81.
Tech then scored a two-pointer at the buzzer to round out the score.