Jul 15, 2019
Goodwell, Okla.—Panhandle State basketball added two Sooner Athletic Conference wins Thursday night as both the men’s and women’s teams took down their opponents from Mid-America Christian in a double-header triumph at Anchor D Arena. The Aggie women sealed a victory of 74-59 over the MACU Evangels, and the men pulled out a close win of 85-80. Three Aggie players put double-double performances in the books.
The Lady Aggies took an early lead against the Evangels and held a 43-22 advantage by the end of the second quarter. The Evangels kept game tensions high in the second half, outscoring the Aggies 37-31, but MACU was outmatched by the efforts of Monti Regier, Addison Munsch, and Madison Dearmin who finished with 12, 15 and 23 points, respectively.
Dearmin achieved a double-double, adding 11 total rebounds to her impressive shooting figures. Morgan Latta and Dearmin both sported a game-high of seven assists, adding to the Aggie’s total of 20. Shambri Kelso made her first home court return post-injury and added nine points off three long-distance shots for the Aggies. Regier led the game with four three-pointers and Munsch landed three shots from beyond the arc. The Aggies connected on 13 of 47 three-point attempts for a 48.1 percent average, their highest three-point shooting percentage of the season.
Head coach Victor Esparza stated his thoughts after the game, “We had an overall good performance tonight. We took care of the ball and handled pressure, which led to great shots. We played with a lot more confidence on offense and had unbelievable effort from everyone.” Esparza noted his pride in the team’s ability to improve, “They put extra effort in wanting to get better and improve on things that have hurt us in the past.” He also offered appreciation to the fans adding, “I thought the crowd really helped us in the second half and generated energy. We hope to have that extra boost through the rest of the season.”
The women’s team now owns a 9-4 overall record with two SAC wins under their belts. They continue conference play Saturday, Jan. 13 with a 3 p.m. meeting against the University of Science and Arts at Anchor D Arena.
The Aggie men also improved to 9-4 on the season and played a physical bout against a No. 12-ranked Evangels team. With a 40-35 lead at the half, the Aggies maintained fast-paced play throughout the 40-minute matchup. MACU managed to pull a one-point advantage (52-51) early in the second half, but Panhandle State refused to relinquish control and steadied their scoring efforts to gain a 12-point hold over their opponents at the one-minute mark (83-71). The Evangels went 4-5 in the final minute of play, but would not overcome the Aggies’ edge.
The Aggies proved their strengths by tipping the score at each opportunity led by senior Tyler Pate’s 29-point, game-high performance. Pate was on-target with five three-point shots on the night, also pulled down seven rebounds and one block. Leading the league in double-doubles and total rebounds/game, sophomore Jaedon Whitfield once again lit up the boards with 16 points and a game-high of 21 rebounds. Whitfield was joined by freshman DK Sumo who broke double-digits with 16 points and ten boards. Whitifeld and Sumo combined for five assists, two blocks and three steals in the game. Junior Jace Kerr was also big at the basket with 14 points. Freshman Dillan Landers led the team off the bench, scoring all seven points for Panhandle’s non-starters. The Evangels utilized nearly their entire team and accrued 32 points off the bench to the Aggies’ seven.
Now sitting 3-3 in the Sonner Athletic Conference charts, the Aggie men face another ranked opponent on Saturday as they face No. 20 USAO at 5 p.m. Head Coach Jerry Olson comments, “In this league, it’s a war every night.” He speaks on the Aggies’ victory over MACU adding, “It was a good win. I thought we defended much better and I thought we really rebounded well.” Olson aimed attention at specific standouts stating, “Jaedon [Whitfield] was a beast on the boards with 21 and DK [Sumo] took ten rebounds from the point guard spot. Tyler Pate had an awesome game with five offensive rebounds; he hit big shots and took a big charge in the post.”
Panhandle State players will look for packed stands inside Anchor D Arena this Saturday as they aim to improve conference standings and add wins against the Drovers. Fans unable to attend can catch the live action with streaming video and stats links available online at opsuaggies.com.
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