McMurry University came up short in the battle of the Heartland Conference's provisional members, losing at Oklahoma Christian University, 65-54. The War Hawks fell to 8-12, while the Eagles improved to 13-9 with their fourth-consecutive victory.
McMurry trailed by as much as 10 points, 25-15, in the opening period. But a late surge, powered by freshman Sierra Maykus and Troy Salazar (6 first half points each), got the War Hawks to within four (25-21) at the break. McM actually held the lead at 33-32 with 15:28 left on a three-ball M.J. Vickers.
Neither team shot well the opening stanza, as McM held a 3-0 lead at the first media timeout. For the half, McMurry hit 28 percent and the Eagles 31 percent.
McMurry canned four treys in the opening 20 minutes to get back in the contest. Salazar had two, while Maykus and Claire Bruffey added one each.
In the second half, the War Hawks were never able to overtake the hosts, despite staying within striking distance the bulk of the half. Another timely three by Vickers got McMurry to within 54-51 with just 2:12 left, but could get no closer.
Keshia Collins scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half to lead McM's scoring. Collins also shared high rebound honors for the War Hawks with teammate Vickers, with seven caroms each. Collins also had three steals.
Rikeita Thomas added 12 points, buoyed by an 8-of-10 effort from the free throw line. Thomas also had four of McMurry's 12 steals.
OC's Roz Hamilton had a double-double to register game-high honors with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
For the game, the Eagles hit 38 percent from the field and McMurry 28 percent. The War Hawks finished the night 7-for-19 from beyond the arc. OC had a 12-point advantage on the free throw line, hitting 27-34 (compared to 15-18 by McM).
Information for this story provided by McMurry Sports Information.