OCU Defeats Manhattan 94-75 to Advance to NCCAA Final Four

SPRINGFIELD, MO - The Trailblazers defeated 8th seeded Manhattan Christian College on Thursday night in the NCCAA quarterfinals by a score of 94-75.

Ohio Christian overcame a slow start in the opening fifteen minutes of play and was able to knock off the rust of a two week layoff between games.  

A 10-2 run by OCU in the final five minutes of the first half pushed the Blazers out in front 47-37 at halftime.

Evin Bartlett came out of the gate in the second half and knocked down three straight three point baskets to push the OCU lead to 13 points.

Trailing by 15 late in the game, Manhattan was forced to trap the ball.  OCU handled the pressure and converted with rim rocking slam dunks.  A trio of dunks by James Nelson and Kenny Cooper pushed the OCU lead to as many as 20 points late in the game.

OCU placed all five starters in double digits.  OCU was led by Wesley Russell who tallied a triple double with 16 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds.  Trey Vaughan went 5 of 11 from downtown for a team high 17 points.  James Nelson added 13 points and 8 rebounds in the win.  Evin Bartlett scored 11 points while Evan Mills added 10 points and 5 rebounds.  Jimmy Horton Jr. added 9 points and 2 steals.

Ohio Christian advances to the NCCAA Final Four round where they will face Florida Christian College.  The game is scheduled to tip off on Friday at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.