Farris’ heroics not enough as Pioneers hang on for upset

From Mid-America Christian Sports Info.
Levi Convirs, Sports Information Director

OKLAHOMA CITY — Semar Farris scored 34 of his career-high 40 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as the Wayland Baptist University Pioneers hung on to upset the No. 14-ranked Mid-America Christian University Evangels 101-96 Thursday night (Feb. 6) inside the Gaulke Activity Center.

The loss snaps the Evangels’ school record five-game winning streak since joining the NAIA and puts them at 14-6 overall and 10-4 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.

Things looked bleak when the Pioneers stretched a nine-point halftime lead to 20 on seven straight points from Travis Peyton that made it 75-55 with 10:58remaining.

After RichMarr Smith and Peyton exchanged threes that again put the Pioneers ahead by 20, Farris nailed four threes over the next three minutes to cap a 15-3 spurt that pulled the Evangels within 81-73.

But each time the Evangels threatened to get closer, the Pioneers answered as two free throws and a three by Barry Johnson put WBU back in front 93-83 with3:08 left.

Josh Smith then scored consecutive buckets and another trey from Farris brought the Evangels within 95-90 at the 2:11 mark.

But Johnson got free on the ensuing possession for a layup and after Farris split a pair of free throws, Markus Monroe hit a layup to put it away with 49 seconds left.

The Evangels led by as much as nine in the opening half and was up 26-19 when Johnson capped a 13-2 spurt with a three that gave the Pioneers a 32-28 lead.

After Josh Minner converted a three-point play that made it 41-38, the Pioneers scored the next 12 points that bridged the final 50 seconds of the first half and the opening 1:30 of the second to take a commanding 15-point lead.

Farris’ 40 points came on 14-of-24 from the field and he was also 9-of-14 from the perimeter along with six steals and six rebounds.  Smith added 12 points, six boards and four assists. Stephen Armstrong led the Evangels with seven rebounds.

Monroe had team-highs of 21 points and nine boards to lead five Pioneers in double-figures.  Johnson added 19 and Payton had 18 points.

The Evangels will look to get back on the winning track next Thursday night (Feb. 13) at Northwood University at 8 p.m.

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