Bulldogs grab rivalry win at Northwestern


ALVA, Okla. – The Bulldogs got back in the win column on Thursday night following their 83-73 road victory over rival Northwestern.

“We’ve been almost there all season, so it felt good to come out on top tonight,” head coach Terry Evans said in his post-game interview. “It was a tough environment, but our guys were ready to go. They came out and answered the bell. I’m so proud of our team tonight.”

SWOSU built a double-digit lead toward the end of the first half they used throughout the rest of the way. With 7:28 left in the first half, both sides were knotted at 27-27 before SWOSU closed the half on a 20-8 run to lead by a dozen at the break.

Kamden Gipson connected on a three-point shot with 8:52 to go in the game that gave SWOSU its largest lead of the night at 68-51, and from there SWOSU fought off final pushes from Northwestern.

Two separate times the Rangers were able to cut the margin to within six points in the closing minutes of the contest, but the Dawgs answered with timely buckets to eliminate any threat of a momentum change.

The offense clicked all night. SWOSU shot 44% from the field as a team including 40% (10-for-25) from the three-point line. The Dawgs also got to the free throw line 21 times, knocking down 17 freebies for an 81% clip.

Eight Bulldogs scored in the contest and four of those finished in double figures. SWOSU was led by Damion Thornton who scored 20 points, had 10 assists, and grabbed nine rebounds – just one rebound shy of a triple double. Gipson scored 15 points, followed by Chris Braggs, Jr. with 13 and Mason Hart adding 10.

SWOSU finished with 19 assists as a team, marking a season best and five more than their previous high. The Dawgs also won the rebounding battle 37-33.

With the much-needed victory, the Dawgs move to 3-5 in Great American Conference play and find themselves right in the thick of the standings with plenty of basketball left to play.

Up next will be a road rematch with league-leading Southeastern at 3 p.m. Jan. 15. SWOSU held a 14-point second half lead against the Savage Storm the last time they played and will look to avenge that loss.