No. 15 Pioneers fall to SW Christian

No. 15 Pioneers fall to SW Christian
Wayland Baptist (Source: Wayland Baptist University)

Information provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics

BETHANY, Okla. – Just like in the preceding women's game, Southwestern Christian scored the first seven points against Wayland Baptist in Saturday afternoon's men's contest. Unlike the Flying Queens, however, the 15th-ranked Pioneers were unable to hit their free throws, and the Eagles prevailed in the Sooner Athletic Conference battle, 87-73.

Playing its first game in two weeks and first since moving to No. 15 in the NAIA, Wayland (9-1, 2-1 SAC) was within three points with 3:43 left, but the Eagles (7-4, 3-1) scored the game's last 11 points to pull off the upset.

The Pioneers, who shot just 57 percent (17-of-30) from the free-throw line, missed their first four shots of the game and had a turnover as they fell behind 7-0. It didn't take long for Wayland to recover, though, and the visitors took a 21-20 lead after a bucket by Tre Fillmore with 10:35 left in the first half.

That turned out to be Wayland's only lead of the game.

The Pioneers tied it on three occasions after that, the last time at 69 with 6:40 left. That came after Wayland rallied from an 11-point deficit mostly by notching 10 straight points.

But the Eagles recovered and never let Wayland take the lead. The Pioneers were within three, 76-73, when SCU started its game-ending 11-0 run.

In the final 3:43, Wayland missed six field goals and four free throws, turned the ball over once, and allowed two offensive rebounds.

J.J. Culver led the Pioneers with 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting, including 4-of-9 3-pointers. Ruben Lopez tacked on 22 points on a more efficient 6-of-10 effort, including 4-of-5 3s and 6-of-6 foul shots. Tyrone Davis ended with 11 points.

Only six Pioneers scored as WBU's bench was outpointed by 11 scoring for SCU, 30-5.

Shawn Scott was the only Eagle in double figures with 31. SCU hit 22-of-34 free throws (65 percent).

Next for Wayland is an exhibition game at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Stephenville against Tarleton State. That will be the Pioneers' last outing until SAC play resumes Jan. 4 in Arkansas against John Brown. Wayland's next home game is Jan. 11 against No. 7 USAO.