HAVILAND – The Central Christian College men’s basketball team picked up its fifth win of the season with an 89-78 victory on the road over the Barclay College Bears.
It was a very similar game, and an almost identical score line from the game the two teams played in McPherson a few weeks ago. In that game, the Tigers held onto beat the Bears, 89-79. In Tuesday’s game in Haviland, where the Bears always seem to play the Tigers tough, the game was a roller coaster of ups and downs from both squads.
Central jumped out early on the Bears, running up a 14 point lead at the 14:27 mark of the opening half. But the Tigers struggled to push the lead out any further, and the Bears kept hanging around to keep the Tigers within striking distance. By the end of the half, that 14 point Tiger lead had been trimmed in half to seven, 43-36.
In the second half, the Tigers came out flat, and the Bears were the more aggressive team on both ends of the floor. Four minutes into the half, the Tigers’ halftime lead nearly evaporated completely. The Bears opened the half on a 13-7 run and got to within one of the Tigers at 49-50. Unfazed, Central responded with an 18-2 run of their own, to open the lead back up to double digits, 68-51, with 11:18 left on the clock.
As they did in the first game against the Bears, and in the first half of Tuesday’s game, the Tigers got up by nearly 20 points, but failed to put the Bears away. Barclay wouldn’t go away, and over the next 10 minutes, stayed within striking distance.
They trimmed the Tiger lead back down to single digits at the 2:19 mark, and then again with 1:17 left on the clock. Sloppy play in the final two minutes forced head coach Tony Romero to call time out leading by nine. He subbed out all five starters, and closed out the game with his bench and they held on for an 11 point victory.
Jubril Osagie led the Tigers with another double-double. He scored 15 points and grabbed 15 boards (13 of them offensive), but was saddled with foul trouble most of the night, and only played 15 minutes. He was joined in double figures by LaDarius Lenard, who was 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc for 14, Steve Kuminga, who also had a double double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Kendric Warren, who finished with 13 points.
With the win, the Tigers are now 5-1 on the season. They are off until Thursday, when they open up SAC play on the road at Mid America Christian University in Oklahoma City. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.