Blazers Fall In Home Opener Against NAIA #4 Indiana Wesleyan
CIRCLEVILLE, OH - The OCU Trailblazers came into their Tuesday night matchup against Indiana Wesleyan with a lot of momentum after knocking off defending NCCAA Champion, Grace Bible College on Saturday.
OCU picked up where they left off and got out to a fast start on their visiting 4th ranked NAIA opponents from Indiana Wesleyan University. The Blazers jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the opening 3 minutes of play to build a quick advantage to open the contest. That proved to be the only time the Trailblazers would lead in the contest as Wesleyan answered with an 9-0 run of their own to take a 9-7 lead.
Wesleyan finished out the first half in control as the visiting Wildcats went into halftime with a 39-27 lead. OCU answered back with a burst of energy and a 6-0 run to get within 8 points of IWU, but that is as close as it would get for the Blazers.
The NAIA 4th ranked Wildcats showed poise and discipline down the stretch as they were able to push the second half lead from 8 to 15. OCU struggled defensively at times and at the foul line all night, shooting a dismal 7 of 19 (36.8%) from the charity stripe.
The Blazers came up on the losing end of a 79-61 final score to snap a two game winning streak.
"We have to give them credit," said OCU Head Coach Tony Stockman. "They defended well and it hurt our ability to execute. We came in a little too confident after last weekend and this will bring us back to reality. We are a good team but we have to get better."
OCU was led by freshman point guard Evin Bartlett who tossed in 11 points. James Nelson added 10 points and 6 boards for the Blazers. Wesley Russell chipped in 10 points and 2 steals.
OCU (3-2) is back in action next Monday, when they host Great Lakes Christian College, an NCCAA affiliate from Michigan.