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Stars Fall To USAO 60-57

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Oklahoma City, OK -

Oklahoma City University suffered a 60-57 setback against USAO Thursday at USAO Fieldhouse.

The Stars got 23 points and eight rebounds from Charlton Jones and had a chance to tie the game on the final possession but came up short to fall to 12-8 overall and 5-7 in Sooner Athletic Conference play.

"Coming in here is always tough," OCU coach Dionne Phelps said. "In the first half we missed a lot of shots. We talked about not being a jump shooting team because of USAO transitions so well, but we just built to big of a hill to climb."

USAO jumped out to an early lead, and a Brandon Cutler jump shot gave the Drovers a 12-6 advantage with 14 minutes and 33 seconds left in the first half. OCU responded with a jumper from Terrence Walker and a pair of free throws from Jones to cut the lead to two points.

OCU reduced the USAO lead to two points on three occasions in the first half, but couldn't tie or take the lead and the Drovers took a 33-28 lead to the locker room at halftime.

The Stars outrebounded USAO 19-14 and forced seven first-half turnovers. OCU shot 42 percent from the field in the frame.

At the 12:07 mark of the second half, Jones got to the free throw line on back-to-back possessions and converted all four tries to spark a 10-2 OCU run. A clutch 3-pointer from Shawn Grant and layup from Jones capped the run and tied the score at 47-47 with 9:28 left in the game.

A pair of free throws from Jones made the score 50-48 and gave the Stars their first lead of the game at the 8:04 mark.

A 3-pointer from Graham Faulkner and a jumper from Ken Durham gave USAO a 59-55 lead with 1:43 remaining.

Kaleb Smith answered with a reverse layup to bring OCU within two points of the lead at the 1:18 mark.

Jones corralled a Norris Rumph miss with 15 seconds on the clock and led the Stars on a fastbreak with a chance to tie or take the lead. Jones was bumped and dribbled the ball off his foot to give possession back to USAO.

Jahseth Lloyd made one of his two free throw attempts and gave USAO the 60-57 victory.

OCU outscored USAO 22-12 in the paint and scored 12 points off 14 Drover turnovers. The Stars shot just 1-of-9 from 3-point range and 35 percent from the floor on the game.

Jones led all scorers with 23 points and eight rebounds. Terry Johnson added seven points, Smith and Elhadji Wade posted six points each and Grant and Walker tallied five points apiece.

The Stars will return to action against sixth-ranked John Brown (Ark.) at 5 p.m. Saturday at Abe Lemons Arena.

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