OKLAHOMA CITY (March 2, 2013) – Will Reinke’s final game in the Eagles’ Nest was like so many of his others – consistent and efficient on the offensive end, dominant on the defensive end.
The senior center from Lawton scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and blocked six shots and Nick Tate complemented him with 18 points (also on 7-of-10 shooting) as OC pulled away for a 70-53 win over Texas-Permian Basin on Saturday in the regular-season finale.
OC (16-10) gave coach Dan Hays his 698th career win and gained some much-needed momentum heading into the National Christian College Athletic Association Central Region tournament, which will start Thursday in Bartlesville.
Games against OC and McMurry don’t count in the Heartland Conference standings, but if they did, OC likely would have finished fourth in the 10-team league after going 9-7 against Heartland foes. The Eagles didn’t play league cellar-dwellar Oklahoma Panhandle State this season.
“Will set the tone on defense,” OC coach Dan Hays said. “He played well. That’s not an easy matchup (against UTPB) because they’re on offense all the time. I thought we did some good things. Hopefully we’ll be ready to finish this thing up strong. That’s what we’re hoping for.”
OC never trailed UTPB (10-15) during the game’s final 31 minutes. The Eagles led 33-29 at halftime, then opened the second half on a 10-2 run to go up 43-31 on a basket by Tate with 13:50 left.
OC went more than five minutes without a field goal, allowing the Falcons to pull within 43-41 with 10:12 left. But OC senior Brandon Troutman made two free throws after UTPB’s Rob Heyer was whistled for a technical foul with 9:57 left, starting an 8-2 spurt by the Eagles.
UTPB was within 51-46 after a 3-pointer by Anthony Dees with 7:59 left, but the Falcons had just one field goal after that. A three-point play by Reinke rebuilt OC’s lead to double digits at 56-46 with 6:34 left and Reinke later assisted on an alley-oop dunk by fellow senior Devan White that made it 64-51 with 2:26 and ended all doubt.
OC shot a crisp 50 percent from the field (26 of 52) while the Falcons shot just 34.7 percent (17 of 49), struggling inside against the 6-foot-10 Reinke.
“They’re hard to cover, because they penetrate so much,” Hays said. “Will was able to clog things up in the middle and make it tough for them. They’ve beaten some really good teams because they’re so hard to guard. I thought our scouting report was good and we did a good job of executing it.”
Willie Harper joined Reinke and Tate in double figures for OC with 10 points, while Kendre Talley had seven points, seven assists and four steals.
Heyer led UTPB with 16 points and nine rebounds. Tyler Reynolds scored 14 points for the Falcons.