ODESSA, Texas (January 11, 2014) – Lubbock Christian lost its first-ever game to University of Texas of the Permian Basin in men's basketball on Saturday afternoon, coming up short in an 84-78 loss where five Chaps reached double figures, led by Eli Baker's 17 points and 13 rebounds.
AJ Luckey performed well in the first half for LCU, collecting 13 of his 14 points, whereas Jeremy Ford scored all of his career-high 13 points in the second stanza. Rogers also did most of him damage after halftime, scoring 11 of his 14, while Beau Durham ended the contest with 10 points. The Chaps are now 8-1 all-time against UTPB.
In a game riddled with 51 fouls, 62 free throws and 38 turnovers, it was difficult for either team to get in an offensive flow, and the Chaps (6-5, 1-4 Heartland) ultimately suffered by not being able to convert late in the second half. A layup by Rogers with 7:31 left in the game put the Chaps up 63-60, but a four minute scoreless stretch gave the Falcons a four point lead that stretched to as much as nine in the final minute to doom LCU.
The contest got off to a rough start for LCU, as the Chaps went 1-of-11 from the field in the opening minutes until Marcus Arrington tipped in a Baker miss to match half of UTPB's score, 18-9. Baker then took advantage of the sagging Falcon defense, hitting three midrange jumpers to cut the Falcon lead to 24-17.
A three-point play by Luckey inched the Chaps closer at 29-24 before the Heartland Conference's leading scorer Dwayne Soders hit a jumper to push the lead back to seven. Luckey then drained four free throws and broke down the defense for a score in the lane to pull LCU to within 35-30 with 2:12 to play before the half. Quay Johnson nailed a three from the right wing to cut the Falcon lead to a pair, but four straight free throws by UTPB (9-4, 3-2 Heartland) pushed the score to 39-33. On the last play of the half, the Chaps whittled the clock down to the final seconds looking for a bucket before the buzzer. Luckey dribbled out of a trap to find an open Anthony Brancato who drilled a 25-footer for a 39-36 halftime score in favor of the Falcons.
After the break, Baker scored a bucket while being fouled and sank the ensuing free throw at the 18:43 mark for the first Chap lead of the game at 42-41. A three-pointer by Ford from the left side extended LCU's lead to two, but a pair of free throws and a layup by Anthony Dees along with a jumper by Soders gave the Falcons a 50-46 lead five minutes in.
Six straight free throws by the Chaps, four from Rogers and two from Johnson, put LCU on top, 59-55, with nine minutes to play. A three-pointer from the Falcon's Madison Turner a minute later drew UTPB to within a point before Rogers hit his final layup preceding the fateful Chap drought.
For the Falcons, Turner had a game-high 23 points, Soders recorded 17 points and 11 boards, Dees tallied 17 points, Thomas Feeney added 11 and Phadarius Taylor contributed 10.
The Chaps continue their quest for conference win number two, hitting the road next week for games at St. Edward's on January 16 at 7:30 p.m. and McMurry on January 18 at 3 p.m.