Patrick Jones hit two free throws with one second on the clock to cap a 15-4 rally and give St. Gregory's its first win, 61-60, over Oklahoma Baptist University since Doug Tolin became head coach of the Bison.
The Cavaliers' win breaks a nine game losing streak to OBU and drops the Bison to 0-1 in conference and 12-2 overall. OBU had a 12-game winning streak going into the first Holy War battle of the year with SGU. SGU improves to 5-9 on the year and 1-0 in conference play.
OBU was ahead 56-46 with 4:25 left to play when the Cavaliers went on an 8-0 run to pull with in two points. In the run, Tarin Baker accounted for six point for SGU as he hit four straight free-throws and added a field goal to make the score 56-54 with 1:49 left to play.
Frank Benson pushed the Bison lead back up to four after a made field goal, but SGU rallied and went on a 5-0 run capped off by a Corey Humphrey goal. Humphrey's goal gave St. Greg's their first lead since they led 29-28 late in the first half.
On the ensuing possession the Bison raced the ball up the floor and got it in the hands of Benson who sank a lay-up and was fouled on the play to give the Bison a 60-59 lead with just eight second left to play. However Benson landed awkwardly and injured is left knee and was unable to shoot the free throw.
Head Coach Doug Tolin called on junior guard Tyler Ryan to shoot the free throw. Ryan missed the free throw with SGU grabbing the rebound.
"Frank got hurt and we just had confidence in Tyler," said Tolin.
The Cavaliers pushed the ball up the court with six seconds on the clock and Patrick Jones went up for a shot when Bailey Jones was called for his fifth foul with a second to play.
Jones sank both free throws to seal the deal to knock off the favored Bison. OBU did have a chance to win on a desperation three by Andrew Bryant, but the ball caromed off the left side of the backboard.
"We didn't start off very well, but I thought we picked it up later in the game," said Tolin. "We were 10 up with four minutes to go and from then on they (SGU) did everything right and we didn't do very many things right."
Baker led all scorers with 21 points on the night. No other St. Gregory's player was in double figures.
Frank Benson led the way for the Bison with 12 points and four rebounds. Robert Hart had 11 points for the Bison while Leonard Mosley and Justin Benson dropped in 10 points each.
"This just tells a lot about how tough this league (SAC) is," said Tolin. "We just have to get better. It's a long season and we have a long road ahead of us."
While OBU only turned the ball over 11 times on the night it was their field goal percentage that hurt them late in the game. OBU shot only 41.4 percent from the field hitting only 24 of their 58 shots.
The Bison next play Oklahoma City University Saturday at the Noble Complex at OBU.