The Central Christian College men's basketball team suffered its first loss of the season, falling to the Oklahoma Wesleyan University Eagles 52-69 on Saturday evening.
The Tigers seemed a step slower than the Eagles, on both ends of the floor, all night. The quickness and length of the Eagles caused the Tigers to adjust their shots, or take them quicker than they wanted. They ended up shooting just 24 percent from the floor, and were a dismal 2 for 18 from behind the three point arc.
On defense, which has been a calling card for the Tigers under Coach Tony Romero, struggled against the Eagles. They allowed OKWU to shoot 40 percent from the floor including 33 percent from behind the arc.
The Eagles came out strong and jumped out to a quick double digit lead early in the first half. By the end of the first 20 minutes of play, the Tigers were in a 17 point hole, 22-37. In the second half the two teams played dead even, each scoring 30 points in the half, but the first half deficit was too much to overcome, and the Eagles finished off the Tigers 69-52.
Paul Ard, who had a rare 4-point play against the Eagles, finished the game with 13 points to lead the Tiger offense. He was joined in double figures by Jubril Osagie, who had a double double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Eagles' Alexander Breiman led all scorers with 21 points.
"Tough loss, we lacked energy and enthusiasm from the start tonight,” Romero said. “Yes, we shot the ball very poorly, but our identity is built on defense and we lacked that today. They were too comfortable on offense and displayed much more energy throughout the night. They are a fast starting team and we knew we couldn't come out and allow that, but we did and played catch up from there on. This loss began in practice the last two days, we have not practiced with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. We earn wins or losses in practice and I felt that is true tonight. We will learn from this."
The Tigers are now 3-1 on the season. They will go on the road on Wednesday for an exhibition game against the Fort Hays State University.