MANHATTAN — Normally, Manhattan Christian College’s Thunder give Central Christian College’s men a good challenge on their home court.
But they didn’t Tuesday.
Central fired on all cylinders in the second half to pull away to an 84-45 victory after leading only 30-20 at the half.
The victory improved the Tigers to 8-2.
“After halftime we were able to turn them over a bit and get the pace a little quicker, which created some baskets for us in the open floor," CCC coach Tony Romero said. "I thought we got big games from Ernest (Burton) and Sam (Clayborn) tonight. The last two games, we are starting to be a little nastier on defense, which is encouraging. We did very well on the defensive boards as well. All in all, it was a very good effort from the guys tonight."
Burton, filling in for Michael Gholston as he has a minor injury, had it going with 27 points and also yanked down seven rebounds, while Clayborn chipped in with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Tigers host Ozark Christian on Saturday afternoon at Alexander Arena.
CCC (84) — Burton 27, Clayborn 14, Robbins 9, Jackson 8, Warren 8, Stafford 7, Nwosuh 5, Guillory 4, Glynn 2.
Manhattan Christian (45) — Miller 5, Dobbins 2, White 2, Chisam 15, McDonald 3, Brooks 3, Frost 3, Douglas 2, Babalola 10.
• CENTRAL WOMEN 89, MANHATTAN CHRISTIAN 56 — The Lady Tigers wish all their opponents would be like Manhattan Christian.
The Lady Tigers are now 2-7, with both wins coming against the Thunder.
Central had its best offensive output of the year, led by Abbie Banks with 16 points. Caitlyn Campa made all six of her floor shots for 12 points, while Heather Crittenden and Molly Young added 10 apiece. The Lady Tigers’ bench supplied 39 points as coach Chris Honeck ran players in and out.
CCC actually led only 33-27 at the half before getting it together.
“Tonight was definitely another one of those 'tale of two halves' games," Honeck said. "In the first half, we struggled to find a rhythm offensively and we let MCC hang around. The second half, though, was much better. We made a defensive switch at halftime, which led to a couple of turnovers early in the half, and that seemed to get us going a bit. We ended up outscoring them by 27 in the second half, shot almost 55 percent and only committed three turnovers in the half."
The Lady Tigers play an exhibition game Thursday night at Newman University. Saturday afternoon, they host Ozark Christian College.
CCC (89) — Laskowski 6, Crittenden 10, Young 10, Brooks 8, Banks 16, Floyd 4, Garza 8, Costello 8, Campa 12, Austin 7.
Manhattan Christian (56) — Wenger 23, Zarzutzki 16, Casada 3, Stoll 1, Reynolds 13.