The Golden Eagles were eliminated Saturday night from the Sooner Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball tournament by #7 Oklahoma Christian, losing 59-56.
After defeating #2 Rogers State and #3 John Brown, Oklahoma Christian will play #1 Oklahoma Baptist in the SAC Men’s Championship Game Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
Because OBU already clinched an automatic berth in the national tournament by finishing atop the SAC regular season standings, unranked Oklahoma Christian will be awarded the second of the SAC’s two automatic bids no matter the result Saturday.
Despite their loss, JBU is all but in the national tournament after being ranked 13th in the NAIA coming into the Tournament. The Golden Eagles will find out their first round matchup Wednesday when the NAIA Division I bracket is released.
Oklahoma Christian took the lead for good on a 2 pointer by Freshman Nick Tate that made the score 48-46 with 7:03 left in the game. That was the beginning of a 7-2 run that put OC up by 7 with 4:12 to play.
However, the Golden Eagles fought back, and after a huge block and rebound by senior Andy Garcia gave JBU the ball back with 24 seconds left, the Golden Eagles had a chance to send the game into overtime with a three-pointer on their last possession.
Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles couldn’t find one and an attempt by Junior EJ McWoods fell short as time expired.
The Golden Eagles looked good early, opening the game on a 9-0 run. After OC went on a 9-0 run of their own to tie the score, the Golden Eagles went on another run to make it 19-9 with 7:45 left in the first half. However, OC outscored JBU 15-7 the rest of the first half to make it 26-24 Golden Eagles at the half.