CCCB freshman Trey Black scored 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field during the Saints' 94-87 win at Ozark Christian College on Thursday.
Mens Basketball

Impressive first half fuels Saints past Ambassadors

Joplin, Mo.

Much like their start nearly a week earlier, the Saints put together another one of their best halves of the basketball season.

The CCCB men used a 45-17 run in the final 13 minutes of the first half on their way to a 94-87 road win over Ozark Christian College on Thursday.

Central Christian (7-7) jumped out to an early 10-5 lead, but allowed Ozark Christian (4-10) to take a 14-12 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the first half. The Saints responded with a 28-point swing, despite going just 3-for-14 from behind the arc and not attempting a free throw, to make it a 56-31 advantage at halftime.

The Saints led by as many as 29 after hitting a 3-pointer to start the second half, but Ozark Christian chipped away at the deficit until the finish. A slew of turnovers in the final two minutes made it a single-digit game just before the buzzer.

Led by Josh Crawford's double-double of 18 points, 16 rebounds and five assists, Central Christian had five players reach double figures. Kedron Rollings also scored 18 points, followed by Trey Black and Caleif Gregg scoring 16 points each. Rodrigo Nunez tossed in 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Ozark Christian was led by Miles Dressler with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Bryce Money scored 21 points, Tanner Moore added 16 and Nick Sarin had 10.

The Saints shot 59 percent in the first half and just 37 percent after the break for a balance of 51 percent for the game. They went 7-for-27 (26 percent) from behind the arc for the game, and went 13-for-19, all in the second half, at the free throw line.

Ozark Christian shot 42 percent from the field, 24 percent from 3-point range, and 71 percent from the charity stripe. Central Christian outrebounded the hosts, 45-44.

Although the game was between two Midwest Christian College Conference members, it did not count as a conference game in the standings. The conference bout takes place on Feb. 2 in Moberly.

The Saints are at home on Monday when they host NAIA opponent Lincoln Christian University at 7 p.m. Lincoln Christian won the first meeting between the two teams, 99-74, on Dec. 4 in Lincoln, Ill.