Tigers lose despite great effort by Stafford

By Steve Sell
January 01, 2015

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Central Christian College’s men’s basketball team returned the court Wednesday after a long layoff with an 89-73 exhibition loss to Northeastern State, an NCAA Division II school.

The Tigers gave up 49 points in the first half to trail by 13, then played on nearly even terms in the second half.

CCC’s Alonzo Stafford just missed a double-double with 22 points and nine rebounds. Michael Gholston added 13 points and Ernest Burton provided instant offense off the bench with 10.

The Tigers were plagued by 22 turnovers, which led to them taking only 48 shots, though they did can 24 for 50 percent. It was a different story at the foul line where CCC struggled to 18 of 29.

Central had no answers for the dynamic 1-2 punch of Keon Littleton and Demone Harrison, who poured in 26 and 23 points, respectively. Northeastern lit it up from 3-point, making 11 of 24.

“It was good to get back on the floor together,” CCC coach Tony Romero said. “We definitely showed some rust we need to fix pretty quick. We did not do well taking care of the basketball.  Defensively, we were very slow on our rotations and did not have enough effort plays throughout the game."

The Tigers, who are 9-2 and ranked No. 10 in the NCCAA national poll, are on the road Saturday to play Friends, which is tied for the KCAC lead. Game time is 4 p.m. at the Garvey Center.

CCC (73) — Stafford 22, Quincy 2, Nwosuh 2, Gholston 13, Rojas 3, Jackson 6, Burton 10, Clayborn 7, Adams 6, Robbins 2.

Northeastern State (89) — Caudill 7, Gilliam 1, Littleton 26, Mohair 9, Harrison 23, Winzer 3, Starks 1, Williams 6, DeMasters 13.