LUBBOCK, Texas – Kenny Hewitt produced 15 points and became Lubbock Christian University's all-time career scoring leader, but it came in a losing effort, as Oklahoma Christian University used a 56.7% second half shooting percentage to hold off the Chaparrals 80-76 in a Sooner Athletic Conference battle Saturday afternoon at Rip Griffin Center.
Hewitt entered the game needing eight points to pass James Omondi's career mark of 1,614 points (1997-01), and he completed the task on a lay-up from Clay Roberts with 3:22 remaining in the first half. Officials stopped the game and allowed LCU head coach John Copeland to present Hewitt with a commemorative basketball to signify the honor. Omondi was also in attendance and took part in the presentation. Hewitt, a senior from Dallas, completed the game with 15 points to give him 1,622 career points.
The celebration was unfortunately the only thing Chaps fans could cheer for, as the game had a lot of meaning to it. Both teams entered tied in the SAC standings with a 6-5 conference record and represented two of six teams separated by just a game in the standings. LCU has struggled recently at home getting off to solid starts. They trailed Southern Nazarene University 11-0 on Jan. 7th and Northwestern Oklahoma State University 12-4 Thursday to open the game. Saturday, they let Oklahoma Christian University go on a 14-2 run to take a 23-9 lead with 8:09 left in the half. LCU was just 3-of-17 (17.6%) from the field to start the game. They closed the half hitting 8-of-14 (57.1%) shots and used a 12-4 run in the final four minutes to cut OC's lead to 33-30 entering the half.
The two teams combined for 12 three-pointers in the second half with LCU hitting eight to grab momentum and OC connecting on four to hold off the Chaps. After Chad Endres hit a jumper to give OC a 51-40 lead with 14:22 to go, LCU responded with a 14-4 run over the next five minutes with Al Duval connecting on a pair of three-pointers and teammates Douglas Williams and Rashad Sample also hitting from long range to highlight the run. Sample followed with another three-pointer and Tyler Kennedy connected on his first to tie the game at 60-60 with 8:17 remaining. OC never relinquished the lead. They responded with a 7-0 run before LCU stormed back with another three-pointer from Duval to spark a 5-0 run. Andre Vaughn and Eric Randall each hit a pair of second half three-pointers for OC to hold off the Chaps and take an 80-71 lead with 25 seconds left in the game.
Eagles inside players controlled the paint and took LCU's Matt Read and Russ Permenter out of the game. Center Will Reinke was 6-of-9 from the field for a team-high 18 points. He also had five rebounds and six assists. Vaughn (15 points) and Endres (16 points and 9 rebounds) were each 6-of-9 from the field, and they were joined in double figures by Randall (14 points). Read finished with 11 points, but was held to just two rebounds. Permenter had five rebounds and pair of blocks, but was 1-of-6 from the field with open looks. Hewitt had to battle for his 15 points, as he had trouble getting into a rhythm going 5-of-14 from the field. Duvall led LCU in the game with 18 points. He was 4-of-11 from long range, with all four nailed in the second half. Douglas Williams just missed a double-double and finished with nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds (four offensive). The Chaps attempted 34 three-point attempts and made 11 of them (32.4%). OC shot 56.7% (17/30) in the second half and finished the game shooting 53.7% (29/54).
LCU, 11-7 overall, has now fallen in six of their last ten games and the loss marks their first two-game losing streak of the season. It is their fourth straight loss that has been in single digits and third straight by four points or less. LCU is now 7-7 in conference play and has dropped three of their last four home games. OC improved to 13-6 overall and 7-5 in the SAC with the win. The Chaps remain home Thursday to host Oklahoma City University at Rip Griffin Center.
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