MOORE, Okla. — Sam Clayborn’s double-double propelled Central Christian College’s men’s basketball team to an 81-74 victory over Hillsdale Baptist Thursday in the first round of the Hudiburg Classic.
The Tigers improved to 11-2. They turn right around and play this afternoon against Arlington Baptist. Tipoff is 1 p.m.
The active 6-4 Clayborn had 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while also dishing off for five assists in perhaps his best all-around game as a Tiger.
Michael Gholston and sixth man Ernest Burton scored 14 points apiece, and Alonzo Stafford added 12. Central was 28 of 57 from the floor and could have opened up a wider margin, but went just 19 of 30 at the foul line.
Central led 42-32 at the half, but the Saints would never quite go away. Xavier Hunter was outstanding for Hillsdale with 30 points, including five treys.
“"We definitely had to earn that one,” CCC coach Tony Romero said. "Hillsdale is a scrappy and well-coached team and has a bunch of shot-makers. Our focus going into the game was to not let them see the ball go in early from the perimeter. We have done pretty good this year defending the 3-point line, however tonight we did not do so well. We were pretty careless with the ball and did a poor job on the defensive glass, which allowed them to get back in the game. I'm proud of our guys for grinding one out. Winning doesn't always have to be pretty, sometimes it's just about making enough plays which we were able to do tonight. This was good for us, to be tested in a tough environment and to come away with a victory."
Central (81) — Gholston 14, Stafford 12, Warren 8, Nwosuh 3, Clayborn 17, Jackson 9, Burnton 14, Robbins 4.
Hillsdale (74) — Hunter 30, Snead 20, Wilson 10, Morales 2, Lyons 6, Collier 6.