Bears rally to end Saints' winning streak
Following a pair of exhibitions and a high-scoring loss at home to start the second half of the season, the Central Christian College men's basketball team found some rhythm as it hit mid-January.
The Saints rode a three-game winning streak into Saturday's Midwest Christian College Conference matchup with Barclay College, but couldn't hold on to a nine-point second half lead as the Bears left the Ferneau Center with a 98-94 victory.
CCCB (6-8, 1-1 MCCC) led for most of the first 35 minutes of play until Barclay (2-9, 1-1 MCCC) used a 10-0 run to take their first lead of the second half with 7:44 remaining. The Saints quickly regained the lead until the two teams began taking turns out front in the last five minutes.
Trailing 95-91 with 36 seconds to go, CCCB's Jesse Granados sank a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it a one point game. Dre Thompson made only one of two free throws on the other end, but Granados' attempt from beyond the left arc with five seconds left would not fall.
The Saints were forced to foul with 4 seconds remaining, and Key Maloney hit both free throws to seal the win.
Granados scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds to cap off a stellar week in which he averaged 23.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and shot 57 percent from the field and 3-point line (19-for-33) through four games.
Kedron Rollings scored 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead all scorers, while Micah Miller scored 16 points and Jaime Rodriguez added 10.
On Friday night, CCCB knocked off Manhattan Christian College, 98-81, for just their third win over the Thunder in the last 20 years. In that game, Granados led the way with 31 points and 11 rebounds. Rollings scored another 23 points and Rodriguez had 20.
The Saints defeated Union College, 77-61, in Lincoln, Neb., on Wednesday, just two days after topping Ozark Christian College, 92-86, at home in a non-conference matchup that the two teams added to the schedule in December.
On Friday, the Saints head to Joplin for a rematch with Ozark Christian in a game that counts toward the MCCC standings. The women tip off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men's game at 7:30 p.m.