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Taylor's buzzer shot beats Bison

Friday, February 15, 2008  
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Jason Taylor's putback with less than a second to play lifted Oklahoma Christian to a 68-66 win over No. 20 Oklahoma Baptist Thursday night.

OC inbounded the ball from the baseline with 2.5 seconds left to Kyle Tefft whose three-pointer fell short. Taylor snatched the rebound and scored off the glass to send the Eagles into a wild on-the-court celebration.

"We ran a play to Kyle who shot the three in the corner," Taylor said. "It was perfect timing I guess, I just caught it and laid it in. This is a huge win for us. It's hard to explain how much we needed it."

OC's last win over OBU in the Noble Complex had come on March 4, 1995, in the Sooner Athletic Conference semifinals. Greg Brown's career-high 37 points lifted the Eagles to a 108-85 victory in a battle of top-15 teams.

On Thursday, Taylor finished with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Tefft netted 16 points in the win.

"I'm very pleased with our effort tonight," OC head coach Dan Hays said. "I'm so happy for our guys, we've been through some adversity this year but we've hung tough. This is a great win over a very fine team."

The Eagles led just briefly in the first half, but OBU never led by more than seven in the stanza.

With less than 10 seconds to play in the half, Tefft grabbed a steal from his back and found a streaking David Jackson who was fouled going up for a layup with 1.3 seconds left. Jackson stroked both charity tosses to cut OBU's halftime lead to 30-28.

The Eagles hit 6-of-12 first-half three-pointers.

OC pulled within one by the 16:36 mark of the second half on two Taylor charity tosses.

Jeff Crocker then single-handedly erased a four-point deficit and tied the score for the first time since the 17:25 mark of the first half. The Sugar Land, Texas, native scored two penetrating baskets at 14:48 and 13:35 to make it 39-39.

OBU built a narrow 44-39 edge before OC shot off 12 unanswered points to take its biggest lead of the night.

Taylor's conventional three-point play with 11:16 on the clock gave the Eagles their first lead since of the second stanza at 46-44.

Another driving Crocker score and a Taylor old-fashioned three-point play took OC's edge to 51-44 by the 10:10 mark.

The Bison were not done though. OBU rallied back with eight straight points to again tie the score at 51-51 with 8:32 remaining.

Another tie ensued at 53-53 with 7:14 left, then two three-point bombs gave OC the lead again. Tefft dialed from long distance at 6:44, then Jackson dropped a trey with 5:42 left to make it 59-53.

The Eagles clutched to the lead until Al Moore tied the game at 66-66 with 29.1 seconds left to set up the final sequence.

The win avenged OBU's 71-60 win on Jan. 5 at OC. The all-time series is now deadlocked at 40-40.

Crocker had 15 points and six assists. Jackson chipped in eight points on 2-of-4 three-point shooting.

Moore paced the Bison with 16 points.

The Eagles' last regular-season victory over OBU in Shawnee was a 78-74 squeaker on Feb. 9, 1991. OC's Todd Duncan scored a career-high 34 points, including two free throws with :08 left, to give Oklahoma Christian the win.

The Eagles and Lady Eagles are back in action on Saturday night against St. Gregory's at the Eagles' Nest. The women's ball goes up at 6 p.m. followed by men's action at 8 p.m.

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