PLAINVIEW, TX —The Central Christian College of Kansas men's basketball team has faced No.10 Wayland Baptist University twice this season, and it will bug the Tigers for the rest of the year that both times they lost by just one point. After a heartbreaking loss back on Dec. 13th, 2018, off a four-point play by the Pioneers, the Tigers had their hearts broken again when a last second shot by Paul Ard II hit off the rim and the Tigers fell 70-71.
It is a story that has become all too familiar for the Tigers. They came out in the first half and took control of the pace of the game, leading by as much as 11 halfway through the half. But Wayland didn't let the Tigers get too far from them, and eventually got back within four at the half, as the Tigers led 36-32. But the Tigers' second half struggles came to haunt the Tigers once again. Wayland came out of halftime the more energized of the two teams and wasted no time in taking the lead back. They would lead by as much as eight points, but the Tigers would stay within striking distance, hoping to pull out some more late game dramatics after their double-overtime victory on Thursday. With 1:19 left to go in the game, WBU's Trevonta Robinson put down a monster dunk to put the Pioneers up 71-65, and it looked like the Tigers' fate was sealed. But Paul Ard II came back and put in a triple to make it 71-68. Next possession, the Tigers would get a steal, and TJ Williams would convert a tough lay-in to make it 71-70. On the ensuing inbounds pass, the Pioneers threw it long, and it would go out of bounds off a Tiger in front of the Wayland bench. The Tigers then locked down the Pioneers on the inbound play and would force a turnover once again to get the ball with 17 seconds left in the game. Coach Tony Romero then called up a play that ended up with Paul Ard II with a wide open look from three right as time ran out, but it wasn't meant to be, as the shot was just a bit long.
After two games of outstanding shooting by the Tigers, they came back down to earth on Saturday. They finished the game 23-of-60 (38.3 percent) from the field, including 11-for-28 (39.3 percent) from three and 13-for-16 (81.3 percent) from the free throw line. The Tigers also had 33 rebounds (nine offensive, 24 defensive), one block, nine steals, nine assists, and 11 turnovers. Wayland Baptist shot 28-for-63 (44.4 percent) from the field, including 10-for-25 (40 percent) from three and 5-for-9 (55.6 percent) from the free throw line. They would also have 42 rebounds (12 offensive, 30 defensive), two blocks, nine steals, 11 assists, and 14 turnovers.
Steve Kuminga led the way for the Tigers, as he was tied for the game-high in scoring with 19 points, and he also collected nine rebounds and four steals. Jubril Osagie had a rare off night, as he finished with just one point, two rebounds, and two assists. For the Pioneers, Trevonta Robertson led them with 19 points and seven rebounds.
The Tigers are back on the road on Thursday, as they head to Oklahoma City to take on Mid America Christian University. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.