HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – The Owls stretched past Champion Christian in a nail-biting road game on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in The Loren Mahoney Gymnasium. In a very intense game, The W went score for score with the Tigers but were able to outlast Champion Christian for a 72-63 road victory.
DJ Clark, senior forward, led The W with his tenth double-double of the season. The Indianola, Miss. native went 6-for-14 from the field including 1-for-2 with two at the line for a game-high of 15 points. He also brought down four offensive rebounds and nine defensive rebounds to tie fellow Owl Shon Wright for the game-high of 13 boards.
Wright, a sophomore guard, went 4-for-9 from the floor including 3-of-6 in three-point range. He collected two additional points at the free-throw line for 13 points and a double-double of his own.
After a mishap during tip-off, the Owls quickly regained possession and went on a 7-0 run against Champion Christian to open the game.
Clark began the offensive effort for the Owls on a second chance tip-in a minute in and Carlos Wilkerson extended the Owls lead 5-0 with a jumper beyond the arc.
Champion Christian put its first points on the board three minutes in with a lay-up from DeMarkiyo DeVoil to cut The W lead to 7-2.
The Tigers defense pressed the Owls hard and slowed The W scoring effort to remain in the game.
With 2:15 left in the half, Champion Christian pulled within one of the Owls 35-34 with a lay-up from Sefan Tellis.
With 31 seconds left, Jonte Moultrie, a junior forward for The W, sank a layup to bring the score to 37-35.
Champion Christian answered with a three-pointer by Vernon Burns to gain its first lead of the game and close the half ahead of the Owls 38-37.
In the first period, The W outscored Champion Christian 18-16 in the paint and 14-0 in second-chance points. The Tigers edged out the Owls in bench points 18-17 and grabbed two fast break points.
The second half was a battle for both teams with the score tying two times and the lead changing five times.
The two teams were equal with nine turnovers but the Owls were able to benefit more from the Tigers miscues 11-3.
With 4:22 left in the game, The W trailed Champion Christain 60-59. Skinner put the Owls back on top with a six-point run. Clark extended the lead to 67-60 with a lay-up and the Tigers answered with =a three-point jumper for their last points of the game.
In a scramble to force momentum, the Tigers committed three fouls in the last minute of the game to put the Owls at the line. The W went 5-for-6 in its free-throw attempts to close the game and seal the victory.
The Owls will be back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 19 when they travel to Selma, Ala. to take on Selma University. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.