A heroic comeback fell just shy as Oklahoma Baptist rallied from 18 points down at halftime and lost in overtime at No. 2 Oklahoma City, 86-83, Saturday.
OBU missed half of its first half free throws (5-10) and was out-rebounded 22-8 in the first half. What looked like a miserable night at Abe Lemons Arena, turned into the most exciting games of the season.
The Bison methodically worked the lead down, but still trailed 63-52 with 5:31 left in the game.
Tre Griffin hit a lay-up to start a 5-0 run to get the Bison within 63-57, but the Stars got the lead back to 67-58 with 2:39 left to play.
Kortney Smith hit two free throws and converted a three-pointer in a 7-0 run to make it a 67-65 game with 1:48 to play.
Willie Irick hit two free throws to give the Stars a 69-65 lead, as Julius Hurd fouled out with 24 points, but Smith drained a three-pointer with just under a minute left to pull the Bison to within a point.
Kameron Gray gave OBU a chance by missing one of two free throws.
Justin Benson scored on a short jumper off a feed from Smith to tie the game with 4.1 seconds to play and the game would go to overtime.
"Kortney Smith is who we want our team to be; he's the kind of guy we need to follow out there," said OBU coach Doug Tolin. "He wouldn't quit and he wouldn't let us quit."
OBU took its first lead of the game on a lay-up by Griffin to start the overtime and Benson hit one free throw for a 73-70 lead. The Stars scored a free throw of their own before Griffin hit a three-pointer to give the Bison a 76-71 lead with 3:45 left.
Irick hit a three-pointer to start a 9-2 run to give OCU an 80-78 lead with 2:05 left.
Mike Fraser scored two free throws with 1:17 left to tie the game, but OCU answered with a 5-0 run. Smith hit a three-pointer to make it 85-83 and OBU had one last chance after Gray again missed a free throw to leave it a three-point game.
After OCU knocked the ball out of bounds, they defended well on OBU's last second three-point attempt and Antwan Alexander's shot missed the mark as time expired.
Following Hurd's 24 points for the Bison were Smith and Griffin with 16 each and Fraser with 15.
Irick led OCU with 24.
Now 11-7 overall and 4-4 in the SAC, the Bison host Oklahoma Christian on Thursday.