Tale of Two Halves in 71-61 Loss at Wittenberg

SPRINGFIELD, OH - The OCU Trailblazers took on NCAA affiliate, Wittenberg University, on Saturday and came up just short in valiant comeback bid in the second half.  Wittenberg came away with a 71-61 victory.

OCU struggled in the first half with shooting woes and a lackluster effort on the boards.  Wittenberg took advantage and built a 32-21 lead heading into halftime.

Wittenberg pushed the lead to as many as 17 points in the second half with the host team leading 43-26 with 16 minutes to play.  OCU called a timeout and setup their full court pressure defense and began to cut into the 17 point deficit.  The OCU defense stole the momentum as they were able to force 15 second half turnovers as the Trailblazers stormed back.

A three point basket by Wesley Russell brought Ohio Christian to within one point with the score 60-59 with just over two minutes remaining.  OCU was unable to convert on their next two possessions and Wittenberg countered with a pair of free throws and a layup to push the lead to 64-59.  

Wesley Russell scored again on a layup with 57 seconds remaining to bring OCU to within five at 66-61.  After just missing a chance for another steal, the Blazers were forced to foul down the stretch, where Wittenberg went 9 of 10 in the final two minutes to seal the 71-61 win.

Ohio Christian was 6 of 12 from the charity stripe for 50.0%.  Wittenberg shot 20 of 31 from the line for 64.5%.  OCU was outrebounded 47-24 in the game as they were outscored 20-2 on 2nd chance points.  OCU did force 21 Wittenberg turnovers as the Blazers enjoyed a 22-10 advantage in points off turnovers.

OCU was led by Wesley Russell who tossed in 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting.  Jimmy Horton Jr. provided a big boost with 9 points while going 4 of 5 from the field.

OCU is back in action on December 29th when they travel north to take on NCAA affiliate, Ashland University.