Rich Tortorelli, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University seized a share of the Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season men’s basketball championship with a 77-74 victory over Texas Wesleyan on Sunday at Abe Lemons Arena.
Ridell Camidge and Samuel Williams topped OCU with 17 points each. The Stars, ranked 12th in NAIA Division I, finished the regular season 22-7, 14-6 in the SAC, while 20th-ranked Texas Wesleyan went to 21-9, 14-6.
Oklahoma City secured the second seed in the SAC Tournament. The Stars host Mid-America Christian at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday at Abe Lemons Arena in the SAC Tournament quarterfinals.
OCU reeled in its first SAC regular-season crown since winning the conference title in 2007-08. Oklahoma City owns 13 SAC regular-season championships. Texas Wesleyan, the defending national champion, clinched the top seed in the league tournament and a piece of the SAC title with its 78-75 win over Central Christian (Kan.) on Friday in Fort Worth, Texas.
“I’m a little bit emotional over it,” OCU coach Vinay Patel said. “It’s what I sold when I came here. What we envisioned right here is today. They’ve helped build this thing. To achieve it with those guys is really special to me.”
Camidge, a senior from Wilmington, N.C., sank all seven of his free-throw attempts, while Williams, a senior from Reno, Nev., added five rebounds and shot 8-for-11 from the field.
Terence Bonhomme, a senior from St. Martinville, La., scored 15 points, including free throws with nine seconds left that helped OCU cinch the victory. Lou Dunbar, a senior from Seabrook, Texas, contributed nine points while sinking three treys, including his 200th career 3-pointer for the Stars.
“We’ve been playing very well down the stretch,” Patel said. “We’ve talked all year long we want to play our best late February going into March, and I believe we’re doing that. We’re getting a lot out of our basketball team.”
Camidge connected on a baseline jumper off a feed from Dunbar to give OCU a 75-72 edge with 22 seconds remaining. Branden Jenkins cut Texas Wesleyan’s deficit to 73-72 by hitting a pair of shots from behind the free-throw line with 1:19 to go. Jenkins spearheaded the Rams with 28 points, 10 rebounds and two steals.
“That was a big-time game from two really good teams,” Patel said. “It was a battle to the end. We knew it would be. I’m very proud of our basketball team. We got a lot of help from a lot of players today.”
The Stars held their largest lead just before halftime. Walter Rickettthrew down an alley-oop dunk off Ivan Saicic‘s pass to put OCU on top 42-30 with 34 seconds showing.