Ohio Christian Defeats Valley Forge to Win 25th Annual Assemblies of God Classic
PHILADELPHIA, PA - For the second time this season, the OCU Men's Basketball team has come away victorious over one of the top teams in the NCCAA on their home floor. The Blazers defeated #3 ranked Valley Forge Christian College, 72-66 on Saturday night to claim the Tournament Championship of the 25th Annual Assemblies of God Classic.
OCU came out determined to start the game, taking it to Valley Forge early on to take a commanding 11-2 lead in the opening minutes. The Trailblazers were stellar from deep as OCU shot a remarkable 7 of 15 (46.7%) from three point range in the opening half. With OCU leading 38-28, the Patriots rallied for a 5-0 run to steal momentum in the final minute of the half. The Trailblazers went into halftime with a 38-33 advantage.
The Blazers would face adversity in the second half as a resiliant Valley Forge team continued to stay close with OCU in front of their energetic home crowd. After leading the entire game, OCU would lose their advantage in the closing minutes. A three point basket by Valley Forge with less than two minutes remaining would tie the score up at 60-60.
With the game on the line, James Nelson and Wesley Russell made big baskets down the stretch to put the game away for OCU. With the score tied, James Nelson grabbed on offensive rebound and went strong off the backboard to score and give the Blazers a 62-60 lead. Wesley Russell hit a clutch basket down the stretch and hit 4 big free throws to keep the Blazers in front by four. James Nelson then threw down a violent two handed slam dunk with 30 seconds remaining to put the game away.
Wesley Russell led OCU with 19 points and was named Tournament MVP. Evan Mills tossed in 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the win. James Nelson was big inside with 11 points and 9 rebounds. Treyvon Crater added 9 points on 3 of 4 shooting from three point range. Milen Kostov provided a big spark with 6 points on back to back three point baskets in the second half.
OCU is back in action on Tuesday night as they travel to Grayson, Kentucky to take on Mid-East Region rival, Kentucky Christian University. The game is set for an 8:00 PM tip and will be broadcast live on Trailblazer Radio with Rick Cooper.