BETHANY, Okla. — Despite playing its second game in 24 hours, Central Christian College’s men’s basketball team more than held its own Tuesday against Oklahoma NCAA Division III power Southern Nazarene before succumbing, 82-71.
The Crimson Storm appeared to be well on its way to a blowout with a 42-29 halftime lead, but the Tigers outscored them in the second half. CCC’s 4-of-15 effort at the foul line greatly led to the halftime deficit.
“I thought we missed some opportunities, especially at the free throw line in the first half to close the gap,” CCC coach Tony Romero said. “We clawed our way back to four points in the second half, but couldn't get over the hump. I was proud of the way we kept pushing back, but we had just too many turnovers and missed opportunities at the line."
The loss does not count toward CCC’s 7-1 record since Southern is an NCAA school.
Michael Gholston led the Tigers with 21 points, while Daniel Nwosuh added 18. Alonzo Stafford was terrific with 15 points and a whopping 17 rebounds, eight of them on the offensive end.
Central finished the game just 11 of 27 at the line, while the Crimson Storm canned 23 of 31, which was the difference in the game. CCC won the battle of the boards 47-44.
The Tigers have little rest as they are home Monday to take on KCAC member Bethel, the first of three games on the week. CCC is 3-0 against KCAC schools this year, including a 72-70 victory over the Threshers in an earlier meeting in North Newton, a game the Tigers led by 20 at halftime before withstanding a huge Bethel rally.
CCC (71) — Nwosuh 18, Gholston 21, Rojas 5, Stafford 15, Quincy 4, Clayborn 2, LeBlanc 4, Robbins 2.
Southern Nazarene (82) — Willis 14, Starkey 4, Hukill 12, Kankaanpaa 14, McCrary 8, Rodriguez 12, Butler 12, Meggs 6.