OKLAHOMA, OK—The Central Christian College of Kansas men's basketball team continue to find themselves on the brink of victory, but couldn't pull out the necessary shots on Thursday night, as they fell to Mid America Christian University 81-78.
The Tigers came out of the gates with more energy than the Evangels, jumping out to lead MACU by as many as eight points. But MACU would recover and take the lead back halfway through the first half, and it looked like they would start pulling away from the Tigers, leading by 11 with just under two minutes left in the half. The Tigers would do a good job of getting back within striking distance, going on a 10-3 run to end the half with Isaiah Rivera scoring eight of those 10 points. The Tigers would go into halftime down 44-48. Coming out of the half, the Tigers would once again set the pace of the game and take control with a 7-0 run to start the second half. The Tigers would remain in the lead for the majority of the half, looking like they were in control up 73-67 with four minutes left to play. MACU would not go away, however, as they climbed back to tie it up at 74 apiece. They would then take the lead at 77-76 with just over a minute left in the game, but TJ Williams would put the Tigers back up 78-77 with 36 seconds left. MACU would come back the other way and knock down a three pointer to go up 80-78 with 19 seconds left. The next possession, the Tigers would get the ball to Steve Kuminga for a potential game-winning three-pointer, but it wouldn't go, leading to the Tigers' 81-78 loss.
For the night, the Tigers shot 29-for-62 (46.8 percent) from the field, including 8-for-20 (40 percent) from three and 12-for-15 (80 percent) from the free throw line. They also collected 32 rebounds (11 offensive, 21 defensive), one block, four steals, 10 assists, and 11 turnovers. MACU shot 25-for-54 (46.3 percent) from the field, including 7-for-18 (38.9 percent) from three and 24-for-31 (77.4 percent) from the free throw line. They also had 35 rebounds (11 offensive, 24 defensive), seven blocks, five steals, nine assists, and 11 turnovers.
TJ Williams had a big scoring night for the Tigers, leading all scorers with 21 points, while adding three rebounds and four assists. He did hurt the Tigers, as he contributed seven of the Tigers' 11 turnovers. Isaiah Rivera continued his streak of good games, coming off the bench and putting up 18 points. Steve Kuminga finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. MACU's were led by Charles Beauregard Jr. with 16 points coming off the bench.
The Tigers will continue their weekend road trip with a stop in Chickasha, Oklahoma, on Saturday to take on the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.