Two minutes into the second game of the South Central Shootout in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, the Dallas Baptist Patriots found themselves down by ten – and without a point after two missed three pointers and a turnover. With five minutes left to play in the first half, they claimed their first lead of the game – and never relinquished it to pick up their first win on the young season, 82-78, over Southern Arkansas.
TJ Clark collected 28 points on the afternoon on 8 of 12 shooting from the field and a perfect 12 for 12 from the charity stripe. Jordan McGowen finished with 18 points (10 of 10 from the free throw line) and Ryan Marsh chipped in with 13 points as the Patriots improved their record to 1-1.
“I was really proud of our effort today,” said Head Coach Blake Flickner. “Back to back games are always difficult and we were playing without Armie Lewis, who was out with an injury. Some new guys had a chance to step up today and I’m proud of the way they played. I’m especially proud of the progress Donovan [Bridgeforth] made today. He led us well in a tight game and really got his teammates involved.” Bridgeforth finished the day with five points and a game-high in assists in over 31 minutes of action.
With sixteen minutes left to go in the game, McGowen hit on two free throws to give the Patriots a ten point advantage only to see the Muleriders re- tie the game with 4:36 left to play. DBU immediately got a defensive rebound, though, the next trip down the floor and two free throws from Clark gave them another four point cushion. A three point shot by Chase Spruiell pulled SAU to within one but the Muleriders could never regain the lead as the Patriot defense and free throw shooting down the stretch increased the lead to as many as six before the final 82-78 score.
On the day, the Patriots outrebounded Southern Arkansas, 29-26, with McGowen collecting seven of those and Marsh six.