The Central Christian College of Kansas men's basketball team didn't have much time to relish in their Mayor's Cup victory, as they were back in action the next night. The Tigers were up against Manhattan Christian College in the opener for the Classic for Christ hosted by Central, and cruised to a 107-68 victory.
After a tough win last night, the Tigers were able to come back out with good energy, and showed that they are ready to take their game to another level. For the first 10 minutes of the first half, it was a pretty even game, as the Tigers were getting their legs back under them. But at the 10:33 mark, with a 20-19 lead for the Tigers, the Tigers were able to kick things into another gear and pull away from the Thunder for a 52-37 lead at the half. Taking the 15 point lead into the second half, the Tigers didn't give the Thunder any hope of getting back into the game, smothering them on the defensive end, and making shot after shot on offense. After it was all said and done, the Tigers came away with the big 107-68 win. The Tigers would finish the game 40 for 72 (55.6 percent) from the field, including a whopping 12 for 25 (48 percent) from three point territory, but just 15 of 27 (55.6 percent) in free throws. The Thunder shot 21 for 55 (38.2percemt) from the field, including 5 for 21 (23.8 percent) from behind the three point arc, and 21 for 28 (75 percent) from the charity stripe. The Tigers outrebounded the Thunder 42-32, including 15 offensive rebounds to nine. The Tigers also won the turnover battle, turning the ball over only nine times with 12 steals, while Manhattan committed 22 turnovers and only had four steals.
The Tigers continue to get good production out of their bench players, including a big night by Nic Mitchell, who finished the game with 16 points and six rebounds. Jubril Osagieended up the leading scorer for the Tigers with 17 points, and Steve Kuminga continued his strong work on the boards with 9 rebounds.
Coach Tony Romero was pleased with his team's performance, but was still able to see some areas that need to improve. "The first half, Manhattan was getting downhill on us, we were slow on our help and closeouts, which led to us committing too many fouls or them getting easy baskets. Offensively, I felt we fell into the trap of trying to do to much on our own in the first half. After the break, we came out with much more energy and we bought into each other a lot better. We were a lot more efficient on the offensive side of the ball, we got better shots because we shared the ball as the game went on and were able to get easier ones from our defense. It was good to see a lot of guys contribute tonight. Sometimes you worry about a let down after such an emotional win as we had last night, but I was proud of our guys and they way they played on our first back to back.
The Tigers will be back in action on Saturday against Baptist Bible College. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m..