Tony Romero is getting tired of moral victories.
Two days after losing a two-point decision to defending NAIA national champion Texas Wesleyan, his Central Christian College Tigers led Southwestern Assemblies of God 44-36 at halftime Saturday at Alexander Arena.
But once again the Tigers couldn’t seal the deal as the Lions roared back for an 85-82 victory, dropping CCC to 1-5 in the SAC and 7-6 overall.
“It feels like deja vu, we had this same game two days ago,” Romero said. “It's tough losing the way we are losing. We got to find a way to stay insulated and positive, we are right there, but just need to find a way to finish. We knew tonight we had to keep them off the glass and we didn't do a great job at that. Our first-shot defense was solid, just did a poor job finishing plays. We played on our heels once they made a run in the second half, we lost our focus and attitude on defense and stopped playing with pace and trusting each other on offense."
Cam Martin, whose 3-point attempt at the end to tie the game was just off, made 12 of 12 free throws to highlight his 24-point performance to lead the Tigers. Jubril Osagie chipped in with 18, Paul Ard II scored 13 and TJ Williams added 12 off the bench as the Tigers again had nice balance. Kendric Warren ripped down 11 rebounds.
The Tigers were just 2 of 13 from 3-point, probably the stat that cost them the game.
Joshua Swearingin came off the bench to pour in 27 points in 26 minutes of play to lead the Lions. Cameron Hill added 22.
Central remains at home again on Thursday to take on Southwestern Christian University.
Central (82) — Warren 3, Osagie 18, Martin 24, Lenard 6, Ard II 13, Daniels 4, Williams 12, Kuminga 2.
SAGU (85) — Tipton 7, Petillo 8, Hill 22, Sims 7, Farmer 10, Swearingin 27, Davis 2, Kashilla 2.
• SOUTHWESTERN ASSEMBLIES WOMEN 83, CENTRAL 44 — At least the Tigers were consistent.
Central scored 11 points in each of the four quarters, but it wasn’t near enough as they fell to 0-6 in the SAC and 1-13 overall.
Havanna Yannello led Central with 16 points and Ridglea Hearne added 10. Normally reliable guards Abbie Banks and Holly Golden were a combined 4 of 28 as they picked a back night to be off at the same time. Lexi Rich led the Lions with 23.
Central hosts Southwestern Christian on Thursday.
Central (44) — Hearne 10, Banks 1, Yannello 16, Golden 9, Forsberg 2, Regier 1, Anderson 5.
SAGY (83) — Diggles 10, Glenn 14, Rich 23, Colbert 6, Martin 18, Wells 2, Ahmedu 2, Sims 3, Meador 5.