The Western Oklahoma State College Pioneers lost for just the third time this season when they couldn’t overcome the Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa Mavericks Tuesday night, losing 87-79


By Ryan Lewis - ryan@altustimes.com



Darron Johnson (11) scored a season-high 34 points against the Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa Mavericks in the Pioneers 87-79 loss.


Rick Carpenter | Altus Times

Darron Johnson (11) scored a season-high 34 points against the Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa Mavericks in the Pioneers 87-79 loss.


Rick Carpenter | Altus Times

Bernat Arellano (5) drives around a Tonkawa defender in the Pioneer’s 87-79 loss.


Rick Carpenter | Altus Times

Bernat Arellano (5) drives around a Tonkawa defender in the Pioneer’s 87-79 loss.


Rick Carpenter | Altus Times

Darron Johnson has made a habit of scoring for the Western Oklahoma State College and Tuesday night was no different for the Pioneers’ star point guard as he racked up 34 points in Western’s, 87-79 loss to Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa.

Following the start of the game, the Pioneers wasted no time building a five-point lead halfway through the first half half, but the Mavericks overcame the deficit and went on a run to close out the half with a 45-35 lead.

Trailing by 10, the Pioneers worked on closing the gap in the second half and outscored Tonkawa 44-42 but it wasn’t enough as Western dropped its third game of the season.

Johnson scored 13 of his 34 points at the free throw line, getting to the charity stripe 17 times in the game, but aside from Johnson’s 34 points, no other Pioneer scored more than eight in the loss.

Johnson said the team struggled defensively and that hurt them down the stretch.

“Watching film…” Johnson said, “we had a very tough time on defense and we really struggled rebounding and defending inside. The way we bounce back is by tightening up our defense and playing rougher inside.”

For the starters, Troy Green had eight points and nine rebounds while Jeshon Jones added seven points, two assists and two steals. Devontae Bynes had six points on two made three-point shots and Thibault Benabid finished the game with two points and three rebounds.

Of the 79 points scored by the Pioneers, 22 were scored by the reserves who struggled from the field, shooting 24 percent.

Lawton product Davontre Vaughn scored four points while pulling down four rebounds and swiping the ball twice from the Mavericks. Daiquann Wyatt had eight points for Western’s bench, making two of his three-point shots and Obiajulum Okafor and Jeremy Soloman Jr. both scored five for the Pioneers.

After shooting just 29.4 percent from the three-point line against On Point Prep just before Thanksgiving, the Pioneers came back hot from beyond the arc, making 42 percent of their long distance shots.

But where the team struggled was from two-point range where the Mavericks seemed to have Western’s number.

The Pioneers made just 28 percent of their shots from two, the team’s lowest percentage of the season. Each loss this season has come by eight points or fewer with Clarendon beating the Pioneers by seven points on Nov. 8 and by one point on Nov. 15.

The Pioneers will have an opportunity to bounce back when they travel to El Reno to take on Redlands Community College tonight at 7 p.m.

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

Darron Johnson (11) scored a season-high 34 points against the Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa Mavericks in the Pioneers 87-79 loss.
http://www.altustimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Northern-at-Western-Men-3-grayscale.jpgDarron Johnson (11) scored a season-high 34 points against the Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa Mavericks in the Pioneers 87-79 loss. Rick Carpenter | Altus Times

Darron Johnson (11) scored a season-high 34 points against the Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa Mavericks in the Pioneers 87-79 loss.
http://www.altustimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Northern-at-Western-Men-3.jpgDarron Johnson (11) scored a season-high 34 points against the Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa Mavericks in the Pioneers 87-79 loss. Rick Carpenter | Altus Times

Bernat Arellano (5) drives around a Tonkawa defender in the Pioneer’s 87-79 loss.
http://www.altustimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Northern-at-Western-Men-5-grayscale.jpgBernat Arellano (5) drives around a Tonkawa defender in the Pioneer’s 87-79 loss. Rick Carpenter | Altus Times

Bernat Arellano (5) drives around a Tonkawa defender in the Pioneer’s 87-79 loss.
http://www.altustimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Northern-at-Western-Men-5.jpgBernat Arellano (5) drives around a Tonkawa defender in the Pioneer’s 87-79 loss. Rick Carpenter | Altus Times

By Ryan Lewis

ryan@altustimes.com

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

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