Bulldogs oust Weevils at buzzer

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — A turnover by Arkansas-Monticello led to a buzzer-beating three-point basket as Southwestern Oklahoma State eliminated the Boll Weevils from the Great American Conference tournament with a 79-76 semifinal victory Saturday at Bruin Fieldhouse.

The loss ends the season for the Weevils at 21-9. They would have had an outside shot at making the NCAA Division II tournament by winning the tournament, since the GAC was not awarded an automatic bid because of its first-year status.

Instead, former UAM and Ouachita Baptist coach Charlie Schaef has led the Bulldogs (17-11) to today’s championship game against Arkansas Tech, which beat Ouachita 67-62 in the other semifinal.

UAM had the ball with 10 seconds remaining and the score tied at 76. Senior guard L.A. Farmer took the ball up the sideline and was called for a carrying penalty with 1.6 seconds left as the ball was seen to graze his hip by the side official.

Ryan Donahoe inbounded the ball for SWOSU right into the waiting hands of Chase Elliot, who faked the shot to send the two UAM defenders sailing past him and knocked down the game-winning shot as the buzzer sounded.

The game was tight throughout, with 13 separate ties and 18 lead changes. UAM struggled with its shooting early for the second-straight game as the Bulldogs opened a 19-7 lead, but UAM battled back to take a 39-37 advantage into halftime.

The second half was close throughout with neither team able to get more than five points ahead of the other before another tie resulted. The three-point lead at the end of the game tied the Bulldogs’ largest lead of the half.

Farmer led the way for the Weevils with 24 points off 7-of-22 shooting from floor and 2-of-6 from three-point range. Kori Forge posted 17 points while seniors Ricardo Hall and Sergio Crowe rounded out those in double figures with 15 and 11 points, respectively. Chase led the Bulldogs with 27 points off 7-of-12 shooting.