SHAWNEE, Okla. — It would have been one of the big upsets of the year.
Central Christian College’s men took NCAA Division II Oklahoma Baptist into overtime on Monday before losing 73-70 in what is classified as an exhibition game for the Tigers.
Central thus takes a 9-2 record into the holidays.
The Tigers had the game in their hands, up 66-63 with 52 seconds to go. A 3-pointer by the Bison tied the game and Central then turned it over. However, the Tigers’ defense was strict and the Bison couldn’t score at the end of regulation.
But in the overtime, OBU outscored Central 7-4 to avoid the upset.
The loss could have been costly. Central, already without Michael Gholston due to injury, lost Ernest Burton during the game. There was no word on the severity of his injury.
Central stayed afloat throughout the game behind 29 points by Alonzo Stafford and he completed the double-double with 10 rebounds.
“OBU made a run in the second half that really put us in a bad position where we had to play catch-up,” CCC coach Tony Romero said. “I thought our guys showed some character battling through some in-game injuries and putting ourselves in position to win at the end. We just didn't make enough plays once we got back into position. This break comes at a good time for us, we need to get some guys healthy and come back stronger for the long haul second semester."
Central is off until Jan. 2 when it plays another exhibition game at NCAA Division II power Drury in Springfield, Mo. Its next game that counts is Jan. 5 at Kansas Wesleyan, which handed the Tigers one of their two losses on the season.
Central (70) — Stafford 29, Nwosuh 9, Guillory 9, Burton 9, Robbins 6, Warren 5, Jackson 3.
OBU (73) — Lester 6, Green 6, Nemcok 15, Rickey 24, Timotia 16, Hight 6.