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Oxford loses game for No. 1

OXFORD -- Even though the Oxford men's basketball team outshot Middle Georgia Technical College, the ball just refused to go in as the Eagles lost 66-49 in the battle for first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association conference on Wednesday.

Oxford attempted 66 field goals in the game compared to 58 for the Titans. The difference is that Middle Georgia made 45 percent of its shots while Oxford's shots only found the bottom of the basket 28 percent of the time.

When the game started, the Eagles were able to keep pace with Middle Georgia. But then their point guard, Newton graduate Alex Ordu, left the game seven minutes into the half with an ankle injury.

"When Alex went down in the first few minutes of the game, that kind of took us out of our rhythm because he's our point guard and he runs the team," Oxford head coach Roderick Stubbs said. "With his leadership, he puts people in place to make plays. Without him, we were a little sluggish."

The Eagles trailed by as many as 12 points before making a charge before halftime to close the gap to 30-23.

Like the first half, the Eagles had a hard time getting the ball to drop failing to score their first point until the fourth minute of the second half. Also like the first half, the Eagles trailed by double-figures before making a run to close the gap late in the game.

"In the second half, after I called a timeout, we came out with more energy," Stubbs said. "We cut it to two but we just couldn't make the shots and we ran out of gas."

Without Ordu, who averages 18 points a game, Kevin Tolbert took over the scoring with 17 points followed by Zachary Carlson with nine. The Titans had two players in double figures with D'Meco Rozier putting up 19 points while Dwayne Bryant added 15.

Even though the Eagles lost, that does not mean their chances of regaining the No. 1 spot headed into the tournament is over.

"We still play each team in the conference and if we win the rest of our games we can probably tie for first place," Stubbs said. "It was a tough loss but we're looking toward our next game, Georgia Northwestern. We don't want to lose two in the conference, so we'll just regroup."