OCU Clinches #1 Seed in Mid-East Region with Weekend Wins
KNOXVILLE, TN - Ohio Christian won a pair of Mid-East Region contests over the weekend at Johnson University and Crown College to clinch the #1 seed in the Regional Tournament. OCU defeated Johnson University on Friday night 83-54 and came away with the win at Crown College on Saturday by a score of 92-78 to secure the #1 spot.
With the two wins the Trailblazers are now 9-0 in Mid-East Region play and will look to run the table with a perfect 10-0 record next Monday at home when they face Boyce College on senior night. OCU has never finished a regular season with an undefeated record in the Mid-East Region.
OCU struggled early on Friday night at Johnson and found themselves in a close battle early on. Johnson knocked down shots and would hold a slim lead for the first ten minutes. The Blazers made a run with 6:00 remaining in the half to take the lead.
In the second half the Blazers sped the game up using tencacious defensive pressure and a strong transition game. Mo Fall hit 9 straight baskets in the second half to fuel the OCU run. A layup by Josh Delph pushed the OCU lead to 35 points late in the game. OCU came away with an 83-54 victory.
Mo Fall finished with a season high 33 points on 15 of 21 shooting while also grabbing 9 boards. Tirrell Cumberland kept a hot hand with 20 points and 6 steals. Josh Delph was a big contributor with 12 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Kenny Cooper battled an illness and finished with 6 points and 11 rebounds. Wesley Russell did not play due to injury.
On Saturday the Blazers took on Crown College in what proved to be a close game early on. OCU got out to a sluggish start as Crown College hit three straight baskets from downtown in the opening three minutes to take a quick 9-0 lead. OCU knocked off the road legs and fought back tand went on a 22-6 run to take a 7 point lead with ten minutes remaining in the half. OCU would take a one point lead into the locker room.
The Blazers came out strong in the second half behind a strong effort by senior guard Tirrell Cumberland, who knocked down 6 threes. OCU tallied 54 points in the half and would go on to lead by as many as 24 points with 4 minutes remaining. OCU went deep to the bench and Crown put together a last minute run to get to within 15 points in the final seconds, but the game was never in doubt. Ohio went on to win 92-78.
OCU was led by Cumberland who scored a team high 22 points on 6 of 10 shooting from long range. Wesley Russell put together a great game with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. Kenny Cooper tallied a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Josh Delph continued his hot streak with 14 points and 3 steals. Delorean Glanton added 11 points in the win.
OCU (19-9, 9-0) is back in action on Monday night when they take on Southern State in the OCAC finale. The Blazers will the prepare for the OCAC Conference Tournament this weekend.