LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Cold shooting did in the Central Christian College men on Wednesday as the Tigers fell to No. 12-ranked Dakota Wesleyan 84-67 on the final night of the Las Vegas Hoopla Classic.
Central finished the two-day event 0-2, but the experience of playing two of the Top 25 teams in the country should prove invaluable.
“We lost to a very good team,” CCC coach Tony Romero said. “We started really slow and they made everything they threw up. We knew we had to close out on the catch and we did a poor job of that. They were comfortable all night long. We have not allowed a team to shoot above 50 percent all year.”
The Tigers had entered the tournament riding a seven-game winning streak.
"I don't view the weekend as a failure," Romero said. "I think we can take a lot away that will make us a better team as we compete the second half of the year."
Central could connect on just 27 of 63 floor shots, including 5 of 21 from 3-point range. The Tigers played an extremely clean floor game with only 7 turnovers.
Michael Gholston led Central with 18 points, Sam Clayborn added 16 and Jubril Osagie had yet another huge game with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
CCC was down 43-30 at the half and simply couldn’t overcome the hot shooting by Dakota Wesleyan, which made 27 of 50 shots for the game, including a sizzling 14 of 29 from 3-point. It wasn’t a deep team as it used only seven players, with just six scoring.
Central, now 8-5, is off until Jan. 2 when it travels to Lindsborg for a rematch with Bethany College. The Tigers won an 85-81 verdict at Alexander Arena.
Central (67) — Warren 2, Osagie 15, Clayborn 16, Nwosuh 2, Gholston 18, Kuminga 5, Burton 9.
Dakota Wesleyan (84) — Spicer 18, Vandeberg 24, Davis 6, Martin 10, Hoglund 20, Johnson 6.