Damian Prgomet

SBU’s Damian Prgomet guards the basket. The redshirt senior helped the Bearcats knock off No. 12 University of Southern Indiana Saturday, Jan. 4. 

Southwest Baptist University men’s basketball proved it deserves consideration among the top NCAA Division 2 schools in the country, upsetting No. 12 University of Southern Indiana 71-69 Saturday, Jan. 4.

The Bearcats started slow, but Brady Smith kept the team in the game, hitting SBU’s first 11 points, as SBU trailed 14-11. 

After USI launched a run to build an 11-point lead, SBU’s Quinn Nelson, with help from Smith, narrowed the advantage to 35-32 at halftime. 

Nelson, Joe Miller, Godfrey Rolle and Mitch Ganote put together the points to give SBU its first lead at 45-44 with about 14:30 left in the game. 

Damian Prgomet and Miller hit a pair of 3-pointers to give the Bearcats cushion, but USI stormed back before SBU put it away. 

Rolle ended the game with eight straight free throws. He finished with 20 points, including a 12-13 night from the free-throw line. Smith had 19 points, and Prgomet had 12 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. 

SBU 76, MCKENDREE 68

Earlier in the week, SBU downed Great Lakes Valley Conference opponent McKendree University 76-68 Thursday, Jan. 2. 

Prgomet scored 21 points with 10 rebounds. Smith led both teams with 22 points, also adding eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks. 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

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SBU 63, MCKENDREE 58

SBU women’s basketball won its first game of the new year Thursday, Jan. 2, topping McKendree University 63-58.

The two teams battled through the first quarter with McKendree leading the full frame until SBU’s Kyleigh Vaught made a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left to tie the game. SBU kicked off a 12-6 run in the second quarter, initiated by a Bailey Rezabek layup. SBU had a 35-27 advantage at the half.

McKendree outscored the Lady Bearcats 15-9 in the third quarter to cut SBU’s lead to 2 points but found itself held off in the final frame. 

Rezabek led SBU with 23 points. Regan Tibbits and Piper Francis had 9 points each. Tibbits made three steals, while Sydney Bandy grabbed 11 rebounds. 

SBU 63, SIU 70

SBU nearly hung with the University of Southern Indiana, but late baskets eluded the team, and it fell 70-63.

SBU led as late as the third quarter before USI put the game away. 

Rezabek had 19 points, while Vaught scored 16. Taliayah Wilson had 10 rebounds.

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