Saints survive another wild finish to wrap up MCCC Tournament with victory over Barclay
Just a week after pulling out a win in a double-overtime thriller in the conference regular season finale, the Central Christian men's basketball team found themselves in the midst of another crazy finish in the fifth place game of the Midwest Christian College Conference Tournament.
The tournament hosts, Barclay College, went unconscious from 3-point range in the final 1:47 to erase a 17-point deficit and force overtime, only to see the Saints dominate the extra period on their way to a 104-91 victory at Hockett Auditorium.
Central Christian (10-17) had trailed by as many as nine midway through the first half, but rallied to take a one-point lead on Ayris Abdelnassar's midrange jumper at the buzzer. The Saints then slowly pulled away throughout the second half, and matched their largest lead of the game at 86-69 with 1:56 remaining.
Barclay then rolled off six made 3-pointers on their next six possessions sandwiched around some turnovers and missed free throws by the Saints.
On the final possession of regulation, the Bears's K.J. Harris was fouled on a game-tying 3-point attempt. He went on to sink all three free throws to force overtime.
In overtime, Central Christian held Barclay without a field goal, outscoring the hosts 14-1 to claim their 10th victory of the season.
Abdelnassar scored a career-high 37 points and was one rebound short of a double-double with nine. Jackson King scored 23 points, followed by Quincy James, Jr., with 18 points. Tyce Laubinger, who suited up the game before for his first action since Jan. 16, scored 11 points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds.
In the quarterfinal game on Thursday, Central Christian fell to Emmaus Bible College, 91-86.
The Saints had struggled defensively early as the Eagles went 8-for-14 from 3-point range in the first half and held a 54-40 lead at halftime. CCCB found themselves down by as many as 20 midway through the second half, then fought their way back to a four-point game with under 10 seconds remaining before time ran out.
James, Jr., led the way with 27 points and seven rebounds, while Abdelanssar added 23 points, five rebounds and five assists. King tossed in another 13 points and Sam Adams had 11.
The Saints play their final home game of the season on Thursday when they take on Ecclesia College as part of a women's-men's doubleheader. The women tip at 5 p.m., followed by the men's game at 7 p.m.