It was a game the Central Christian College men had to have.
And they got it.
The Tigers survived a monumental comeback by York College here Tuesday night in what turned into a track meet after defense was the first-half rule.
Central gave up 61 second-half points, but survived the Panthers, 93-89. CCC is now 1-2 in the MCAC heading into a two-game road trip that starts Friday at Haskell and concludes Saturday at Oklahoma Wesleyan.
The Tigers seemingly were in control in the first half, up 39-28. But the pace in the second half was a tongue-wagger, as the teams played at supersonic speed. The Panthers finished the game making 15 of 30 3-pointers, while Central wasn't bad itself by going 9 of 19.
"First half was great focus on defensive end of the floor," CCC coach Tony Romero said. "Our focus the last two days (in practice) was doing a much better job defending the paint and limiting second-chance points. Second half, we lost some of that focus and they really got hot from the 3-point line. I was pleased with our guys' poise, holding the lead when they made their runs. Also, I thought we did way better sharing the ball and getting movement in the halfcourt."
Aaron Miller willed the Tigers to the win with 30 points, making 11 of 17 floor shots and also had four assists. Michael Gholston supplied punch off the bench with 15 points, while Kendric Warren had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Andre Vaughn led the Panthers with 28 points.
The Tigers take a 15-4 overall record into this weekend's play.
Central (93) — Miller 30, Nwosuh 9, Quincy 2, Rojas 6, Warren 12, Clayborn 4, Fort 9, Ghoston 15, Quant 6.
York (89) — Jackson 10, Sonnier 6, Vaughn 28, Brewer 14, Mignott 23, Willis 3, Marshall 5.
• YORK WOMEN 98, CENTRAL 82 — The Lady Tigers broke out of their offensive slump, but this time is was their defense that did them in.
York was sparked by a 22-of-23 effort from the foul line and also drained 10 3-pointers. The Panthers led 42-34 at the half, then lit it up for 54 second-half points.
Central did have some fine individual performances, led by Quamisha Spence with 20 points. Brooke Rhodes had a nice double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Also in double figures for CCC were Krystina Powell with 15 and Libby Regier with 12.
"I was proud of the fight we showed in the second half tonight. We played with much more energy and focus than we did in the first half," CCC coach Chris Honeck said. "Our shooting in the first half wasn't good, but we improved dramatically in the second half. We also rebounded the ball much better in the second half, which gave us a chance to close the gap. York shot the ball exceptionally well in the second half, which made a comeback difficult. We need to improve on how we start games -- slow starts in this league are very tough to overcome."
York had a whopping six players in double figures, led by Zanoria Echols with 21 points and Darbi Klinkhammer with 19.
The loss dropped the Lady Tigers to 0-3 in the MCAC and 8-12 overall. They will spend the weekend on the road with games Friday at Haskell and Saturday at Oklahoma Wesleyan.
CCC women (82) — Powell 15, Spence 20, Shaw 6, Regier 12, Void 4, Rhodes 15, Garza 5, Osovski 5.
York (98) — Lopez 10, Swope 12, Becker 4, Echols 21, Klinkhammer 19, Maher 12, Ellison 9, Minjarez 11,