Feb 5, 2018
Goodwell, Okla.—In a rousing home-opener, the Panhandle State men’s basketball team added one to the win column with their 55-point defeat of Union College (110-45).
Head Coach Aaron Coombs commented on the victory, “I’m very pleased with how we came out and started the game both offensively and defensively. I thought our guys were locked in mentally and showed a level of maturity to be able to come out and dictate the game from the tip.”
Panhandle State was shooting at over 52 percent and held a 64-15 lead at halftime. Senior transfers Breiman Alexander and Alan Hodge, Jr. each reached double-digits in first-half scoring with 17 points apiece, along with returning sophomore guard Thomas Ellis who held 11 points at the break and led the game in rebounds with eight.
After halftime the Warriors improved their shooting percentage by 13 percent, and went to averaging 35.5 from the field. The Aggies’ aim fell slightly to 42.1 percent, and dropped from 34.6 to 15.8 percent in second-half three-point shots. Alexander led the game in threes, knocking down five on the night, and also held the game-high in assists with five. The Aggies moved the ball well with 17 assists to the Warriors five.
Five Aggies surpassed the single digits, with Hodge leading the pack at 28 total points. Alexander finished with 21 points followed by Baris Ulker who put up 17. Dillan Landers and Thomas Ellis combined for 24 points from the bench, with Ellis marking a double-double on 13 points and a game-high of 11 rebounds. Ulker was the teams’ next-leading rebounder, bringing down seven boards, while Jaedon Whitfield, Alan Hodge and Breiman Alexander each had five boards for the game.
As a team, the Aggies outmatched their opponents 46-29 in rebounds and claimed 19 points on second-chance shots. Panhandle State scored 27 points off turnovers, as Union College gave up 25 lost balls and 11 steals in the game.
Coach Coombs expounded, “We exceeded many of our game goals and everyone who played contributed in a positive manner.” Adding, “I was very pleased with Thomas Ellis and his efforts; as the point guard he really set the tone and competed at a high level.” He also noted the combined 36 points put on the board by non-starters stating, “Our bench was electric and really did a great job being engaged in the game. If we have that kind of excitement from our bench every night, then we will really grow as a team.” Coombs concluded, “We still have a lot to work on as we continue to learn how to play together and build our chemistry offensively, but our ability to make plays when our offense struggles is something that is very exciting.”
The Aggie men hold a 2-1 overall record and are set to host two home games at Anchor D Arena next week. The team takes on Calvary University on Monday, Nov. 12 and Barclay College on Tuesday, Nov. 13, both contests tip off at 8 p.m. Free live stats and video will be available for both games. The Panhandle State Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) is holding a penny war fundraiser for Christmas Cheer for Children through the remaining home fall basketball season. Bring your loose change and fill the jug of your favorite Aggie team in this spirited challenge to see which team can collect the most money to help make Christmas merry and bright for local children.
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