The Central Christian College men completed nonconference play successfully Saturday night and now enter the gauntlet that is the MCAC portion of the schedule.
The Tigers had their running shoes on against Hillsdale Baptist, as the game turned into a track meet. CCC just missed the century mark in a 99-88 victory to move to 14-2.
They open conference play on Friday hosting Waldorf, before entertaining nationally ranked Bellevue on Saturday, one of three MCAC teams in the national poll at the start of this week.
Aaron Miller was dynamite for the Tigers with 32 points. Michael Gholston and Nathan Fort provided their usual firepower off the bench with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Dustin Rojas (11) and reserve Kris Quant (10) gave the Tigers five players in double figures.
The Central bench was a deciding factor, contributing 44 points to just 13 for the Saints.
CCC was blazing in the first half, shooting 55 percent to score 55 points. Hillsdale would never quite go away, led by Phil Carey with 25 points.
"Same story, different day," CCC coach Tony Romero said. "I was pleased with our focus and effort most of the first half. But just like Thursday, we didn't sustain it. I am not too pleased with the way we are guarding the basketball, we are allowing teams to score way too many points on us right now. We have to do a much better job paying attention on that side of ball heading into next week."
CCC (99) — Quincy 4, Warren 4, Miller 32, Nwosuh 4, Rojas 11, Quant 10, Gholston 14, Brooks 2, Clayborn 2, Adams 3, Fort 13.
Hillsdale (88) — Henderson 14, Burden 17, Powell 2, Carey 25, Williams 17, Hobgood 5, Allen 8.
• CENTRAL WOMEN 85, HILLSDALE 84 — What a night it was for Central's Quamisha Spence.
The 5-9 transfer had one of the greatest individual performances in CCC history as she poured in 30 points and pulled won 22 rebounds as the Lady Tigers held off Hillsdale's late rally to move to 8-9.
Spence made 8 of 15 floor shots and lived at the free throw line by draining 13 of 15. She also had four assists and three steals.
"We got an amazing performance from 'Q' tonight, and got some great minutes from everybody that stepped on the court," CCC coach Chris Honeck said. "Very proud of this team and looking forward to starting conference play next weekend."
Spence had plenty of help. Ashlyn Garza had her second straight big game off the bench with 13 points, while Krystina Powell and Libby Regier tallied 10 apiece.
"I loved our effort tonight, and am especially pleased with the mental toughness we displayed tonight," Honeck said. "Although we got beat pretty soundly on the boards, we did what we had to do to win. We shot a lot of free throws tonight, and had a 11-point advantage from the line. That usually doesn't happen for us, but we sure hit a lot of clutch ones tonight."
The Lady Tigers will host Waldorf College on Friday for the beginning of KCAC play.
Central (85) — Powell 10, Spence 30, Shaw 2, Regier 10, Void 7, Rhodes 5, Garza 13, Osovski 4, Alderson 4.
Hillsdale (84) — Hornsby 18, Crowl 5, Davidson 2, Walker 2, Edwards 19, Grant 12, Frazier 2, McCosar 10, Maloy 3, Sprouse 11.