Cobb, Bradley on the way to Division II basketball tournament

Chuck Hayes

When the University of Arkansas at Monticello basketball team played Southern Arkansas University for the Great American Conference Championship on Sunday in Monticello, it was a win-win situation for those who follow Booneville basketball.

Two former Bearcats, Blakley Cobb and Logan Bradley, are part of those teams. Cobb plays for UAM while Bradley competes at SAU.

Neither saw action in the championship game, which was won by UAM 75-74, but both their teams are on their way to the NCAA Division II tournament. UAM won the automatic bid from the conference, while SAU earned an at-large berth.

The Boll Weevils (16-4) gained the third seed in the Southwest Regional at Lubbock, Texas, and on Saturday played conference rival Oklahoma Baptist, who was defeated by SAU in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

Meanwhile, the Muleriders (15-5) got the number four seed and played Dallas Baptist immediately after the conclusion of the UAM-OBU game. This is the first time SAU has made the Division II tournament.

Cobb, a sophomore, has seen action in 15 games for UAM this season and has scored 21 points. Bradley, a redshirt freshman, scored his first career points for SAU on Jan. 28 when he hit two free throws and a three-pointer in a victory over Ouachita Baptist. It was one of two games in which he has seen action.

When the teams played in the championship game, it meant that all three Booneville basketball players who continued their basketball career in college were part of teams that had made the GAC tournament finals. Two of them, Cobb and Grant Goers, who redshirted at Henderson State last year, were members of teams that won the tournament. Henderson State was denied a chance to play in the 2020 D-II tournament because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The winner of the UAM-Oklahoma Baptist game was to take on host school Lubbock Christian last Sunday, while the SAU-DBU winner played top-seeded West Texas A&M.