By Sean Ditmore/Staff Writer
The Wayland Pioneers’ winning streak ended at seven games as they were defeated by the defending national champion Oklahoma City Stars 74-63 at Abe Lemons Arena in Oklahoma City last Saturday.
The Pioneers (10-6, 6-3) were able to hang with the 19th ranked Stars (11-5, 7-2) until the Stars went on an eight-to-nothing run to break open a contest tied at 58 with just over three minutes remaining in the game.
Free throw shooting was a key factor in the game. The Stars were 25-28 from the line in the second half alone, while Wayland was only 7-13 for the entire game.
Wayland’s Coach Robert Davenport said he believed there were some questionable calls made down the stretch. But, he feels his team still could have won.
“When you’re on the road, you just have to play better than you do when you’re at home,” Davenport said.
The Pioneers also turned the ball over 23 times, leading to 24 points for the Stars.
The game marked the fifth straight head-to-head victory for the Stars over the Pioneers.
“In a couple of weeks we get them back at our place,” Davenport said. “I think we’ll be ready for them.”
Sophomore guard Jason Griffin led the Pioneers with 14 points. Senior guard Kris Hatley also had a productive game scoring 13 points on 4-5 shooting from the field.
Oklahoma City was led in scoring by senior forward Ollie Bailey who compiled 18 points to go along with 9 rebounds.
The win keeps the Stars in a tie for first place in the Sooner Athletic Conference with Oklahoma Baptist at 7-2. The Pioneers are tied for 2nd with Southern Nazarene, both teams have a 6-3 record in conference play.
Aside from the seven game winning streak, the Pioneers longest winning streak since the 2004-05 season, another streak came to a close on Saturday. The loss marked the first time in four games that a team managed to shoot above 35% from the field against the Pioneers.
The Stars barely eclipsed that mark as they shot 35.4% from the field.