ARKADELPHIA, Ark.- Entering Saturday afternoon's contest at Bill Vining Arena, the Southwestern Oklahoma Bulldogs (7-8, 6-3 GAC) were holding on to a slim lead in the Great American Conference standings. The Ouachita Tigers (8-7, 4-5 GAC) on the other hand, were just trying to put themselves back in the middle of the pack. The Tigers did just that, downing the Bulldogs in a defensive battle that ended in a low scoring final of 58-52.
In the first half, the Tigers fell behind early, with Southwestern taking an 8-3 lead at the 16:35 mark of the half. They would surge and take the lead behind their great defensive play and hustle though, leading to a scrappy contest between the two squads. The largest lead of the first half didn't come until a jumper from Ouachita's Micah Delph found the bottom of the net, giving the Tigers a six point advantage as they headed to the locker room.
The second half was as tight as the first though, which is evidenced by the seven lead changes in the half. Ouachita stretched their lead to as much as 11, before a nine point run from Southwestern with about eight minutes left in the game cut the lead to just one. From that point on, both teams battled back and forth with short runs before the Tigers took the lead with 50 seconds left in the game on a three and rallied to a six point victory.
Eric Braeuer and Colt Fason were at the top of the box score with the Tigers, finishing with 17 and 15 points respectively. Micah Delph posted a solid game as well, with nine points, six rebounds and three assists. Fason led the team on the boards, grabbing seven rebounds, while Julian LaDay was brilliant at the point, dishing out five assists.
Rod Camphor led the Bulldogs as the only double-digit scorer, knocking in 12 points in the game. Thomas Davis and Dominick Cornelius both added nine, with Cornelius leading the team in rebounding with seven. Ryan Donahoe struggled from the floor, only finishing 2-of-8, but made up for it with seven assists in the game.
The difference in the game was shooting percentages, as the Tigers finished the game shooting 48.9 percent from the floor compared to just 34.5 percent for the Bulldogs. Ouachita recorded more boards than the Bulldogs as well, recording 37 to SWOSU's 31, but turned the ball over six more times than the visiting Bulldogs.
With the win, the Tigers put themselves in a three-way tie for sixth in the GAC, along with Henderson State and Southern Nazarene. The Bulldogs however, fell from the top of the standings and dropped behind Harding into second place.
Ouachita returns home on Thursday, when they host Henderson State for the first installment of the Southern Bancorp Battle of the Ravine. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Bill Vining Arena.
Josh Fink: OBU Sports Information Director