Top Ranked OCU Defeats Crown College (TN) for 9th Straight Win
POWELL, TN - Ohio Christian capped off their road trip to Knoxville, Tennessee in winning form as the Trailblazers came away with their 2nd win in 24 hours, defeating a scrappy Crown College squad by a score of 75-69.
Top ranked Ohio Christian jumped out to a commanding lead in the first half to take control early on in the contest. The Blazers held a double digit lead for most of the half and went into halftime with a comfortable 37-24 lead.
OCU started the second half strong and pushed their advantage to 17 points just three minutes into the final frame with the score at 43-26 in favor of Ohio Christian. Crown regrouped after a timeout and began to battle back. The host Crusaders cut the Trailblazer lead to single digits with less than 10 minutes remaining in the contest.
Crown heated up from outside as they connected on 5 of 10 from three point range in the 2nd half. A Crown three point basket cut the OCU lead to 6 points with two minutes remaining.
A diving defensive hustle play by OCU sophomore Kenny Cooper with under two minutes remaining proved to be a big play that gave momentum back to the Trailblazers. Cooper tipped the ball free from a Crown player, ran 20 feet downcourt to the ball, and then dove head first to the ball. Cooper then called timeout while sliding with possession of the ball. OCU was able to score on a set play to James Nelson following the timeout and push the lead back to 8 points with the score 72-64. OCU would wrap up the game at the charity stripe to seal the road win by a score of 75-69.
The Blazer defense held Crown to 31.4% shooting as they went 22 of 70 from the field. OCU forced 18 Crown turnovers and the Blazers swiped 9 steals and blocked 7 shots. Ohio Christian outscored Crown on points in the paint 34-18.
James Nelson led OCU with 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots. Trey Vaughan tossed in 19 points as he knocked down 5 three point baskets on the night. Wesley Russell added 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists in the win. Evan Mills tallied 8 points for the Blazers.
Crown College senior guard Nate Humphrey led the Crusaders with a game high 23 points on 8 of 21 shooting from the field.
OCU now stands at 15-7 on the season and 4-0 in Mid-East Region play. The Trailblazers have now put together a string of nine straight victories and have been undefeated since the end of Christmas break.
OCU is back in action on Tuesday night when they travel to crosstown rival, Valor Christian College. The game is set for 8:00 PM.