COLUMBUS, Miss. – Keith Harris scored 23 points but the Owls men's basketball team came up short, falling 83-77 to Oakwood University Monday night at Emma 'Ody' Pohl Gymnasium.
Harris, the junior from Starkville, Miss., connected nine of his 19 shots from the floor, including two of seven from behind the arc. He added three steals, five rebounds, and one block to his season totals.
The W (6-16) received 16 points from Tavonta Jones and 15 from Josh Skinner. Jones added four steals and four rebounds, while Skinner tallied three assists, one block, and one steal. Tre Pinkston grabbed another 10 points for the Owls to round out double-figure scoring.
Oakwood (9-11) outscored the Owls 40-36 in the paint and 57-11 in bench points. The W tallied 16 turnovers to the Ambassadors 22 to outscore Oakwood 26-14 on turnover points.
The game dragged along in the beginning with Oakwood striking first a minute after tip-off. After an Owls foul, Edmen Stewart sank both of his free throws to give the Ambassadors a 2-0 advantage. Shortly after, senior guard Skinner for the Owls executed a lay-up with an assist from fellow senior DJ Clark to tie the game. The W scored the next six points before a three-point jumper by Wooderson Durosier for Oakwood broke up the Owls run. Timothy Culberson added an additional two points for Oakwood after a defensive rebound to put the Ambassadors in striking distance of the Owls 8-7 lead.
The W went on a 15-8 scoring run halfway through the period before Oakwood caught fire and pulled ahead 27-26 with 6:51 left in the half. The Ambassadors continued its run for the remainder of the period, closing the half on a 15-4 run to take the half 41-30.
The Owls stalled Oakwood's momentum going into the second half to open the period on a 7-2 run. The Ambassadors offense shifted into second gear two minutes in and pulled away from the Owls 54-39. A tip-in and a three-pointer by Harris put the Owls within 10 points but The W was unable to spark a large enough rally to regain the lead. With four minutes left, the Owls scored nine straight points to close Oakwood's lead to just 76-72. The Ambassadors continued to fight with under a minute to play to force an exchange of points and outlast the Owls 83-77
Monday's game was also the Owls final home game of the 2018-19 season. The W took the time to honor seniors DJ Clark and Josh Skinner as they played in their last home game as a member of the Owls men's basketball team.
The W will get a rematch against Oakwood on Saturday, Feb. 9 as they travel to Huntsville, Ala. to take on the Ambassadors on their home court. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m.