E-T Staff Report
After knocking off Tarleton State in the South Central Regional final last week, Central Oklahoma dropped a 106-104 heartbreaker to Augusta State at the Elite Eight in Springfield, Mass. on Wednesday.
The loss ended a season in which the Bronchos won a school record 28 games, the Lone Star Conference North Division title, the LSC Tournament crown and the regional championship.
The Bronchos led ASU by as many as 14 points - 66-52 with 9:54 remaining - before succumbing to a late run similar to the one they used to overcome a late 13-point deficit at Tarleton.
ASU had to come from behind again in the first overtime, after trailing by six.
Leading the way for the South Atlantic champs was 6-11, 305-pound center Garrett Siler with 31 points on 11-16 shooting from the floor and 9-12 at the charity stripe.
UCO Third-team All-American Sam Belt scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to complete a career in which he played every game during his four years and finished as the school’s second-leading scorer.
Brian Walker led UCO with 23 points, while Eric Cazenave (14), John Neal (13) and Lance Harper (13) were also in double figures.
Augusta State meets Alaska-Anchorage in the semifinals today. UAA defeated California (Pa), 55-52, in the second Wednesday quarterfinal.