After a loss by the Bison Thursday, Northwestern Oklahoma State came to town breathing down the necks of Oklahoma Baptist.
OBU responded Saturday with a 62-57 win over the Rangers to keep for now a spot in the upper third of the Sooner Athletic Conference. The top four teams in the SAC at the end of the regular season draw a first round by at the SAC Tournament.
Brent Jones was the catalyst with 24 points, many coming as answers to Northwestern threats.
"We suffered a big loss a couple of days ago, so I felt I had to step up my energy level," Jones said. "We wanted to come out and move the ball and get each other open. Every game from here on out is like a national tournament game."
The first half had nine lead changes, the last coming on a layup by Jones on a feed from Aaron Perez to give OBU a 28-27 lead at the half.
Six more lead changes came in the first eight minutes of the second half, the last of the game coming as part of a 7-0 Bison runs, fueled by three points from Al Moore to push the Bison ahead 42-36 with 11:51 left in the game.
Northwestern was able to get within four points on six different trips down the floor after that, but could never make it a one-possession game.
Charles Carter had a big night defensively. Ranked second in the nation with 2.9 blocked shots per game, Carter swatted away six Saturday and also grabbed nine rebounds.
"It sure changed where they shot the ball from," said Doug Tolin of Carter's performance. "Charles was very, very good."
OBU had the one point lead at halftime despite missing all eight three-point attempts and shooting 43 percent from the field. In the second half, the Bison hit 52 percent of their shots.
"If you break it down by half, we played much better in the second half," Tolin said. "In every aspect, we were better than in the first half."
Next up is a big trip to Oklahoma City to face the front-running Stars.
"We need to focus more on the road," Jones said. "We realize things aren't going to be easy on the road."
The Bison improved to 17-6 overall and 9-6 in the SAC.
Joining Jones in double figures in the scoring column was Moore with 15.