After getting off to a 20-9 lead, Oklahoma Baptist got a first-hand look at why Northwestern Oklahoma State is the top defensive team in the Sooner Athletic Conference, losing to the Rangers in Alva, 75-64.
"I felt like that maybe things were too easy for us easy. The things that allowed us to get that lead, we quit doing. We didn't move the ball as well after that," said OBU coach Doug Tolin.
Northwestern clawed back with an 18-4 run for a 27-24 lead. The Bison answered back with a 7-0 run to take a 31-27 lead, but Northwestern came back to lead 34-33 at halftime.
The Bison kept the game close for 13 minutes in the second half, but could never get the lead. Northwestern put the game away with a 10-0 run for a 64-51 lead with just over four minutes to play.
"We never could get going in the second half like I thought we would," Tolin said. "We didn't play really well in the second half. Their defense is to be credited for that. Offensively for them, it's not like they were making spectacular shots. They worked hard to get good shots."
The Bison had trouble overcoming the physical nature of play employed by Northwestern. The inside duo of Julius Hurd and Mike Fraser came in averaging a combined 35 points and were held to 20 points with Hurd getting 16 and Fraser four.
"There was a lot of pushing and that's just the way the game was called tonight," Tolin said. "There are going to be nights like that and you have to figure out how to play and win. They were the better team tonight."
OBU, which has now been held under 70 points for all four of its losses, shot 45 percent from the field, despite hitting 56 percent (5-9) from three-point range. The Bison, fourth in the nation in rebound margin, were beaten on the boards 34-27.
Tre Griffin led the Bison with 17 points, followed by Hurd's 16. Kortney Smith had 10 points.
Now 8-4 overall and 1-1 in the SAC, the Bison head to Oklahoma Christian Thursday. Oklahoma Christian lost to Lubbock Christian in the Eagles Nest Saturday to drop to 1-1 in the conference. Early in the SAC season, only Oklahoma City and Southern Nazarene have no conference losses.