Top Ranked Blazers Knock Off Trinity North Dakota 71-53
PHILADELPHIA, PA - Ohio Christian started day one of the Assemblies of God Classic in winning fashion, coming away with a 71-53 win over the defending North Central Region Champions from Trinity Bible College in North Dakota. The game was a rematch of the 2012 Elite Eight round at the NCCAA National Tournament in Springfield, Missouri.
The first half proved to be a defensive battle as the score was 4-2 in favor of OCU after six minutes of play. Both teams endured shooting woes early on. The Blazers went on a 6-0 run to push the lead to 22-12 with 4 minutes left in the first half. Trinity responded by closing the first half with a 7-2 run to close the gap to five points at the half with OCU leading 24-19.
The OCU offense regrouped in the second half as they heated up, shooting 20 of 35 from the field for 57.1%. The Blazers also found their shot from outside as well, as they connected on 5 of 9 second half three point attempts for 55.6%. A two-handed slam dunk by James Nelson gave the Blazers a 15 point lead midway through the final frame. A pair of three point baskets by Milen Kostov a minute later would push the Trailblazer lead to 20.
OCU came away with the 71-53 win fueled by a strong defensive effort. The high octane Trinity offense was held to 53 points on the night as they shot a dismal 23 of 66 from the field for 34.8%. OCU was big on the boards as they outrebounded Trinity 55-28.
James Nelson led the Blazer offense with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Wesley Russell scored 14 points and grabbed 15 boards. Milen Kostov provided a big boost in the 2nd half as he tallied 14 points and shot 4 of 7 from three point range.
Mike Rosario led Trinity with 16 points on 8 of 20 shooting from the field.
OCU is back in action on Friday afternoon as they take on Central Bible College from Missouri. The Blazers will enter the game with a perfect 5-0 record against NCCAA competition this year. The game is set for a 4:00 PM tip.