CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — New and old merged Wednesday night as Oakland City University basketball men were again taught the difference between Division I and Division II in their sport.
Division I Ohio Valley member Austin Peay State's 13-man roster, including nine new players, pulled away early in the second half to a 109-50 win over the Mighty Oaks before 2,347 fans in Winston Dunn Arena.
This was an exhibition for the Mighty Oaks, who return home with a 2-0 record to take Saturday against Alabama-Huntsville after the women’s opener of the 1 p.m. double header. It was a counting game for the Governors, who, in their home debut, gained their first win after losing 73-54 at Vanderbilt and 93-49 at Virginia.
“We played well in the first 25 minutes. Then we were pitiful,” Oakland City coach Mike Sandifar said.
“We got bullied, then we quit running our offense. They’re longer, stronger, bigger, and quicker than we are. After a while we started playing pickup basketball, not passing the ball before we shot.”
Then the Governors, who could reach the Feb. 28 — March 3 Ohio Valley Conference tournament in Evansville, own an 8-0 record vs Oakland City. Tuesday’s margin outdid their 107-67 win last November. This marked the sixth straight year the teams met in an exhibition for the Mighty Oaks.
OCU managed a 2-2 tie on a basketball by senior guard Andre Bearden, and inched within 14-10 on senior forward Logan Worthington’s basket. They cut a pair of 17 point deficits to 40-29 when 6-foot-9 freshman Austin Roberson scored two and a half minutes before halftime, but the host scored the half's last seven points and removed any doubt early in the second half.
6-foot-2 guard Dayton Gumm, one of his team's newcomers, scored a game-high 25 points and dished five assists. Fellow sub Richard Henderson, a 6-6 freshman, scored 18 points. 6-0 sophomore forward Averl Ugba added 17 points and 11 rebounds as his team out-boarded the Mighty Oaks 50-21. 6-0 sophomore guard Zach Glotta scored 14 and 6-5 freshman Carry Taylor 11 for first-year head coach Matt Figger, who last season was an assistant coach for Division I Final Four team South Carolina. Senior guard Tre’ Ivory dished eight assists for the Governors, who all together dished 31 assists as their team shot 47-for-79 (59.5 percent) from the field. Oakland City managed eight assists, three by sophomore sub by Beau Hefner, as the team shot 18-46 (39.1 percent) afield including 1-11 on three-point toys.
6-5 junior Addison Waggler, using his muscle against quicker and more athletic men, led the Mighty Oaks with 14 points in the first half. 6-5 classmate Logan Worthington scored 11. 6-9 sophomore Austin Roberson scored nine, and frequently teamed with Waggler, a hint that those could see more time together in Sandifar's offense.