Central Oklahoma survives OT scare
Bronchos defeat Dustdevils in overtime to advance
EDMOND, Okla. -- Jarrod McDaniel's three-point play with eight seconds remaining got Central Oklahoma into overtime and the No. 4-ranked Bronchos survived upset-minded Texas A&M International 79-70 Saturday night at Hamilton Field House in the first round of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional.
The Dustdevils overcame a 17-point second-half deficit and appeared headed for a monumental upset after hitting one of two free throws to take a 65-62 lead with 12 seconds left, but the speedy McDaniel had other plans.
The junior guard raced down court and drove inside for a layup at :08 while drawing a foul. McDaniel -- a 47.9-percent free throw shooter on the season -- swished the charity toss to tie it and TAIU couldn't get off a final shot.
UCO trailed 70-69 midway through the five-minute extra period before taking the lead for good at 72-70 on Victor Driver's 3-pointer with 2:01 to play.
TAIU missed its next three shots and the Bronchos pulled away at the foul line, getting four free throws from Dauntae Williams and one from June Carter to go up 77-70 before Brent Friday's breakaway dunk just before the final buzzer ended it.
It was a school-record 29th win for UCO, which improved to 29-3 and moved into Sunday's 7:30 p.m. semifinals against Fort Hays State. The Bronchos also stretched their home winning streak to 24 in a row.
"We're fortunate to get out of there with a win," said head coach Terry Evans of UCO's sixth straight overtime win. "We got out to a good lead and then relaxed a little bit. Jarrod made a great play at the end to get us to overtime."
Williams finished with 24 points, six assists and two steals to lead UCO. Driver had three 3-pointers and 16 points off the bench, while Friday added 12 points, McDaniel nine points and three assists and Tyler Phillips eight points and nine rebounds.
The Bronchos trailed 15-9 lead before coming back to take a 32-26 halftime lead on Williams' long trey at the buzzer and UCO opened the second half with 11 unanswered points to seemingly take command.
That spurt gave the Bronchos a 17-point cushion (43-26) with 16:25 left to play and it was still a double-digit lead at 57-45 on a Driver jumper with 7:59 remaining.
TAMUI got back in the game with an 11-0 run that made it 57-56 with 5:33 to play and then tied it at 61-all before surging ahead 64-61 with 32 seconds left. Driver made one foul shot at 0:13 to make it 64-62 and the Dustdevils hit one of two free throws at 0:12 to stretch the lead to three before McDaniel saved the day.