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Junior guard Albert Mcbride makes a play against Central Oklahoma on Jan. 26. Mcbride scored 8 points throughout the game. Alyssa Tyler 

Men’s basketball unable to stop late Broncho push 

Junior guard Albert Mcbride makes a play against Central Oklahoma on Jan. 26. Mcbride scored 8 points throughout the game. Alyssa Tyler 

Curtis Meyer, Reporter 

The Gorillas could not break their losing skid this week, losing at home against the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos. Despite a ten-point halftime lead, the Bronchos battled back to claim the victory, with an 80-70 win.  

“See I thought the first half, they were really good, obviously knew coming out of the second half that we got to get some better shots, better showing defensively. I thought they (UCO) would punch us in the mouth, I think they went on a 9-0 run to start the second half, and our casualness, which we have been coming with at halftime, really showed, they continued to fight, battle back and forth,” said head coach Jeff Boschee.  

The Bronchos started the scoring, after a couple of failed three-point attempts by Pitt State led to a turnover. After a block by Junior guard Deshaun English, the Bronchos were able to get the rebound and make the layup for 2.  

The Gorillas answered quickly, scoring a three on the next possession. Central took over for the next four minutes, scoring 8 quick points to make it 10-3 with 16 minutes left in the half, thanks to several missed shots by the Gorillas.  

English gave the team some energy with a quick three, and the Gorillas seemed to find their groove, cutting into the early deficit and leading 18-17 at 13:05 with a couple of free throws by sophomore R. J. Forney.  

The Gorilas outplayed the Bronchos in the following minutes, outscoring Central Oklahoma 16 to 7 to take a 34-24 lead with 6:49 remaining. Only three Pitt State players scored during this stretch, with Forney scoring two, while English and Senior Quentin Hardict combined for the other 14 points.  

“We played basically six guys tonight, and they gave for the majority of the game I felt like everything they had,” said Boschee.  

Pitt State carried its momentum forward, going up 42-24 with 3:17 left in the half. This would prove to be the Gorilla’s biggest lead of the game, as the Bronchos scored 12 points to make it 46-36 at the half.  

After halftime, the Bronchos started to steal the momentum back from Pitt State, going on the aforementioned 9-0 run to make it a one-score game just 4 minutes into the half. Pitt State was able to just keep ahead of Central Oklahoma, with English scoring timely threes to preserve the lead.  

Central Oklahoma would not be held off forever, eventually scoring on a jumper to make it 58-57 in favor of the Bronchos at 9:42. The Gorillas and Bronchos proceeded to play back and forth for a couple of minutes, with the game being tied at 62 with 6:28 left. That would be the last time the Gorillas held or shared the lead, with the Broncho’s offense continuing to pour it on as Pitt State’s offense stalled with less than four minutes to go.  

Digging themselves a hole with just a minute left to go, the Gorillas were forced to foul in order to prevent the time from slipping away. This backfired as the Bronchos continued to sink free throws, and the Gorilla offense failed to convert possession after possession into points.  

Having lost 8 straight games, with their last win not even coming against an MIAA opponent. Coach Boschee expressed his disappointment after having dropped a game where they led by almost twenty points.  

“Same thing it’s been every second half I feel like, I’m begging them to play harder, begging them to compete. Not being casual with the basketball, talking on defense. I’ve yelled and screamed, I’ve coddled them, I’ve tried to find ways to motivate them. At the end of the day, you’ve got to find ways to play, as a competitor, you’ve gotta play. We’ve got some guys out there that mentally in the second half weren’t there,” said Boschee.  

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