Moundbuilders top Oklahoma Wesleyan in another OT thriller

Southwestern College sophomore guard Justin Criddle is fouled by Oklahoma Wesley forward-center Janson Lietzke with 17:04 remaining in the first half Thursday night at Stewart Field House. Criddle sank both free throws.

Southwestern College junior guard Geoff Salas buried a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left in overtime, and Justin Criddle and Troy Baker sank their free throws to help the Moundbuilders to a wild 76-73 overtime victory Thursday night against Oklahoma Wesleyan in a thriller at Stewart Field House.

No matter the records, it is always a battle when the two teams get together, and Thursday night was no different.

The two teams met three times a year ago, with each contest coming down to the final possession. The Moundbuilders were winners in two of three of those games, with the combined margin of victory nine points.

Tied 61-61 at the end of regulation, Baker sank 3 of 4 freebies to keep the Builders  (6-4, 2-4 KCAC) within striking distance.

Brooks Haddock sank a basket to give the Eagles (9-3, 4-2) a 65-64 lead, then knocked down a pair of free throws with 2:56 remaining. However, Salas buried a 3-pointer just 20 seconds later and the game was knotted 67-67.

Jason Lietzke and Haddock sank back-to-back baskets to give the Eagles a 71-69 lead.

Criddle hit a pair of freebies, but Haddock followed with a second-chance bucket when Lietzke corralled an offensive rebound.

Salas took over again, hitting his second overtime trey to cut the deficit to one

The Southwestern defense took over from there, shutting out the Eagles the rest of the way.

Criddle’s two free throws with 11 seconds left gave Southwestern a 74-73 lead. The Eagles turned the ball over and were forced to foul, but Baker coolly sank his two freebies.

Austin Poling attempted a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer for OWU, but Baker corralled the rebound off the miss and the Builders escaped with the win.

Both teams struggled to shoot the ball due to tight pressure and high energy on the defensive side of the ball.

The Eagles held a 32-29 advantage at the break despite being held to just 2 of 16 from the behind the 3-point arc in the first half.

Southwestern shot just 11 of 29 overall in the first 20 minutes, but hit one-third from 3-point range.

The Builders held one of the better shooting teams in the conference to 40-percent shooting, including 13 percent (4 of 30) from beyond the arc.

OWU was dominant on the boards, primarily on the offensive glass, outrebounding the Builders 50-32.

Criddle finished with 24 points and five assists for Southwestern.

Haddock tied the game 61-61 near the end of regulation, and the final 30 seconds were nearly deja vu from last year’s game in Winfield.

Criddle missed a 3-pointer in Southwestern’s last possession, and Haddock — who hit a last-second shot in OWU’s win last year — saw his game-winning shot fall off the mark to send the game into overtime.

Baker finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, Andrew Hamm added 11 points, and Salas finished with 13 points off the bench.

Haddock led all scorers with 25 points for the Eagles.

The Builders play at 7 p.m. today at Tabor. The Bluejays (2-8, 0-7) lost to Avila 82-64 on Thursday.


Southwestern 76, OK Wesleyan 73


Janson Lietzke 3-3 0-0 6, Kazden Ammons 0-0 0-0 0, Lance Tipton 1-12 2-2 4, Brooks Haddock 10-23 2-2 25, Brandon Bird 5-7 0-3 10, Valentin Van Putten 5-11 1-2 11, Max Valentino 0-0 0-0 0, Ke’Von Boston 0-2 0-0 0, Kaleb Stokes 4-10 0-1 8, Austin Poling 3-11 0-0 7, Cameron Dashiell 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 32-80 5-10 73.


Andrew Hamm 4-10 3-3 11, Jarehn White 1-4 0-0 3, Justin Criddle 8-18 7-7 24, Dayton McGroarty 0-0 0-0 0, Geoff Salas 5-13 0-0 13, Lorenzo Martinez 1-1 0-1 2, Noah Webster 2-6 0-0 4, Ahmad Pratt 1-2 0-0 3, Anthony Hickman 1-1 0-0 2, Troy Baker 4-7 3-4 14, Quintin Wallace 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-62 13-15 76.


Halftime: OK Wesleyan 32-29. 3-Point goals: OK Wesleyan 4-30 (Tipton 0-6, Haddock 3-10, Bird 0-2, Van Putten 0-2, Boston 0-2, Stokes 0-3, Poling 1-5); Southwestern 9-30 (Hamm 0-3, White 1-4, Criddle 1-4, Salas 3-8, Webster 0-3, Pratt 1-2, Baker 3-6). Rebounds: OK Wesleyan 50 (Van Putten 11); Southwestern 32 (Martinez 9). Assists: OK Wesleyan 7 (Tipton 2, Poling 2); Southwestern 12 (Criddle 5). Steals: OK Wesleyan 5 (Stokes 3); Southwestern 8 (Hamm 2, Criddle 2, Martinez 2). Blocks: OK Wesleyan 0; Southwestern 5 (Baker 3). Turnovers: OK Wesleyan 15, Southwestern 15. Fouled out: Lietzke. Total fouls: OK Wesleyan 18, Southwestern 13.

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