PARAGOULD, Ark. —The Central Christian College men's basketball team set a new NAIA era record on Saturday by winning their 11th game in a row. Prior to Saturday, the program's longest win streak had been 10 games back in 2012. The Tigers secured their 11th in a row by defeating Crowley's Ridge College 76-64 on the road.
It wasn't a pretty win for the Tiger men, but after having traveled over 2,000 miles in seven days, playing four tough opponents on the road, it's not too hard to imagine that they may have experienced a little let down due to fatigue.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick nine-point lead early in the first half. By the 14:51 mark of the half, the lead had ballooned out to 14 points, at 19-5. By the end of the half, the lead was 43-23 and it looked like the Tigers were going to run away with the game.
However, in the second half the Pioneers began to attack and put the Tigers on the defensive. With 12:14 left to play in the game, they had cut the Tiger lead in half and trailed 39-49. The Tigers hit two 3-pointers on their next two possessions and got the lead back up to 17. Over the next six minutes, the Tigers went on another lull, and the Pioneers capitalized, trimming the lead back down to single digits 55-56 with 3:33 left in regulation.
That would be as close as they would get though. The Tigers put the clamps down in the final three minutes to win by 12, 76-64.
Jubril Osagie had a big game inside. He scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds to pace the Tiger offense. He was joined in double figures by Ernest Burton and Michael Gholston, who both chipped in 13.
"Despite the win, I really felt we got outworked today,” head coach Tony Romero said. “For most of the game, they were the aggressors. I don't like our chances most nights when your opponent has 21 more chances to score than you do. We need to take things more personal for the full 40. We had a decent start but then struggled to keep our rhythm."
The win puts the Tigers a 19-5 on the season, They will try and get their 12th in a row, and their 20th of the season Tuesday night when the Union College Warriors visit the Jerry E. Alexander Arena. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.