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Lions Rally, Beat Winless Aggies

UAFS held Oklahoma Panhandle State to just 27 points in the second half of Thursday’s Heartland Conference game to rally for an 84-68 win at Oscar Williams Fieldhouse in Goodwell, Okla.

It was the third consecutive win for the Lions (10-3, 3-2), who improved to 8-1 all-time against OPSU. UAFS has won eight consecutive games against the Aggies since losing to them 65-61 at the Stubblefield Center on Jan. 9, 2010.

After starting conference play 0-2, the Lions will look to sweep their second conference weekend series in a row at 3 p.m. on Saturday when they play Newman at Fugate Gymnasium in Wichita, Kan.

UAFS trailed by eight points (41-33) at halftime after shooting just 33 percent from the field (10 for 30) in the first half, but the Lions finally found their shooting touch in the final 20 minutes, shooting 50 percent (18 for 36) from the field during that span.

The Lions also increased their defensive intensity in the second half. After allowing the Aggies to shoot 37 percent from the field (13 for 37) in the first half – OPSU was 9-for-16 shooting from 3-point range – OPSU shot only 26 percent from the field (8 for 31) and 12 percent from 3-point range (2 for 17) in the final 20 minutes.

Junior guard Blake Branham led UAFS with 17 points, sinking 5 of 7 shots from the field. He was 5-for-5 shooting from 3-point range and sank both of his free-throw opportunities.

Senior guard Jake Toupal chipped in 15 points, including three 3-pointers, and freshman guard Seth Youngblood added 12 points, including two 3-pointers.

Sophomore forward Kenny Martin posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He helped the Lions out-rebound the Aggies by 15 rebounds (51-36). The transfer from Arizona State also blocked three shots.

Junior guard Jeremy Newton led the Aggies (0-12, 0-4) with 27 points, including four 3-pointers, and senior guard Krys Randolph chipped in 17 points, including four 3-pointers. The Lions held Aggies leading scorer Bill Lee, Jr., to just eight points. The senior forward, who was averaging 12.8 point per game, led the Aggies with 15 rebounds.

MEN

UAFS 84, OPSU 68

UAFS 33 51 — 84

OPSU 41 27 — 68

UAFS (10-3, 3-2): Branham 17, Toupal 15, Martin 15, Youngblood 12, Franklin 7, Glavas 6, Cooper 4, McClish 4

OPSU (0-12, 0-4): Newton 27, Randolph 17, Lee Jr. 8, Jones 6, Regier 6, Sands 2, Rosemond 2

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