RIO GRANDE, OH – With each game carrying increased meaning towards the end of the year, the Ohio Christian University Trailblazers responded in a big way on Saturday, taking down the Red Storm on the road to move up in the rankings with three games to play.
In a game that was controlled by OCU from the tip, the Trailblazers allowed a hot offensive start to boost their effort on both ends of the floor, holding the Red Storm to 9-22 shooting in the first half. On the other end, the Trailblazers shot nearly 69% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes to build a 24-point halftime lead.
In the second half, the Red Storm began to gain traction on defense, holding OCU to 37 points. However, the first half cushion proved to be the difference maker, as the Trailblazers closed out the road win late to move ahead of the Red Storm in the RSC East division.
Finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Justin Barksdale (SO/Fishers, IN) powered his squad on offense and defense. The duo of Tolu Telli (FR/Lanham, MD) and Ben Casey (FR/West Jefferson, OH) came in off the bench to each kick in 14 points. Keason Lowe (SO/Grove City, OH) was the final Trailblazer to finish in double figures, scoring 15.
"Our guys really competed together today," said Head Coach Casey Coons. "I think that is the most complete game we have played top to bottom at both ends of the floor. That was a big game for us as it pertains to the conference tournament, and our guys responded in a big way. I couldn't be prouder of their attitude and effort throughout the game today."
Now sitting alone in fourth place in the RSC East division, Ohio Christian will look to finish strong in hopes of clinching their spot in the conference tournament. The top four seeds from each division will qualify, with the top two seeds hosting in the opening round.
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