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Master's Can't Manage to Mount an Offensive

NAIA tournament: Mustangs keep it close in first half before their execution falters in 84-73 loss to Oklahoma City.

March 18, 1998|WAYNE BUNCH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma City University ignited its offense in the second half to break away from The Master's College in an 84-73 victory in the opening round of the NAIA Division I national basketball tournament Tuesday night.

Oklahoma City had five players score in double figures, paced by Curtis Haywood's 24 points. Lou Moore had 23 points and 14 rebounds.

The Chiefs also received double-digit scoring from L.J. Johnson (20) and Aaron Howell (13).

"We played hard on the defensive end and contested well," Master's Coach Bill Oates said. "Inconsistency on offense really hurt--many times we had poor offensive execution. We sputtered and forced it at times.

"The effort was there and we are really close to being a team that will advance further in the tournament."

The Mustangs never led, but trailed by only two, 35-33, at intermission. Jerome Joseph, who finished with 22 points, kept the Master's within striking distance.

"We had some first-game jitters, and the first game is always the hardest," Oklahoma City Coach Win Case said. "We didn't play our best basketball, and that's encouraging."

The Chiefs caught fire early in the second half, rolling to a 63-49 lead with 6:48 remaining.

The Mustangs shot only 38 percent (27 for 71) from the field, but were more effective from behind the three-point line, hitting 11 of 28.

The Master's came no closer as Oklahoma City made 30 of 59 shots from the field. The Chiefs were also 18 of 26 from the free-throw line.

"It was a very ugly basketball game," Case said. "The Master's is a hard team to guard. I want to give Master's a lot of credit. They are a very well-coached team."

The Master's committed 16 turnovers, and the Chiefs lost the ball 19 times.

The Mustangs also had double-figure scoring from Joey Penberthy and Chad Bell with 10 points each.

Master's converted eight of 15 at the free-throw line and were outrebounded, 45-36, by Oklahoma City.

Joclin Julmist was Master's leading rebounder with 11, while scoring eight points.

The Mustangs, making their fifth national tournament appearance, finished the year at 23-12, while the Chiefs (26-4) move to the second round against Incarnate Word of Texas (25-4).

The Texans advanced by defeating Lindsey Wilson of Kentucky, 68-48.

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