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Evangels' Fall Short At USAO, 74-69

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CHICKASHA, Oklahoma -

Senior guard Charlie Shorter became only the fifth player in Mid-America Christian University Men's Basketball history to score more than 2,000 career points, but the MACU Evangels fell late to the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Drovers 74-69 in a Sooner Athletic Conference matchup Saturday evening (Feb. 16) in Chickasha, Okla. The loss gives the Evangels their first two-game losing streak since a three-game losing skid from Nov. 10-16.

Even with the loss the Evangels remain in third place in the SAC, but are now only one game ahead of the trio of Rogers State, Lubbock Christian and USAO.

MACU (13-10, 8-6 SAC) got off to a slow start and trailed by as many as 16 in the first half and 11 in the second, but battled back to take their first lead of the game after a three by Camilo Valencia made it 65-63 with 2:17 remaining.

But moments later a big sequence changed the game as Brandon Cutler dunked and drew the fifth foul on Shorter at the 1:58 mark.

Cutler sank the go-ahead free throw and following an Evangel turnover, Norris Rumph got fouled and made both freebies to extend the lead to 68-65.

After Angelo Lewis hit a layup to make it a one-point game, two free throws by Shavon Scott again grew the Drover edge to three with 32 seconds left.

Trailing by four, Josh Young drove in for a layup to again bring the Evangels within one possession at 71-69 with 15 seconds remaining.

But two free throws by Graham Faulkner again extended the lead to four and a missed three and turnover by the Evangels closed out the win for the Drovers (14-8, 7-7 SAC).

USAO came out firing on all cylinders early on in building a 30-14 lead at the 6:30 mark of the opening half. The Evangels scored eight straight to come within eight and trailed 36-25 at the half.

Shorter past the 2,000 point mark with a three at the 6:53 point of the second half. He finished with 30 points and currently stands at 2,007 career points. Shorter also secured eight rebounds, while Lewis posted his eighth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 boards.

Rumph paced the Drovers with 19 points and Cutler added 16. Ken Durham scored 10 and Jahseth Lloyd recorded a game-high 12 rebounds for USAO.

After shooting only 27.8 percent (10-of-36) in the opening half, the Evangels rallied in the second thanks to an improved 48.6 percent (18-of-37) performance from the field.

The Evangels also out-rebounded the Drovers 47-43 overall and 21-15 on the offensive glass.

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