The men's basketball team fell short in their bid to capture the MCCC Conference Tournament Championshp. losing to Ozark Christian College 87-74. MCC had entered the tournament as the top seed by being the Regular Season Conference Champion. In their two previous meetings MCC had defeated Ozark, but the third time proved to be a little more difficult.
Ozark basically led the entire first half, they would open a six to eight point lead only to see MCC come back to tie the score. However Ozark went on a 7-2 run before the half, including a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to take a 41-34 lead. Ozark was able to maintain its lead and stretch it out in the second half, as MCC was never able to find its rhythm offensively. The Crusaders only connected on 6 of 26 three-point attempts for the game, which was an off night for a team that normally shoots around 36% from the three-point line. Another factor in the game was Ozark's ability to get to the free throw line, especially in the second half as the Ambassadors went 20 of 27 from the line, while MCC was 4 of 6 from the line in the second half. Sage Ruis led MCC with 20 points and Jack Mitchell added 17 points.
MCC will be the #1 seed in the NCCAA Central Region Tournament which they will be hosting February 22 & 23. The Crusaders will open play on Friday night at 7:30pm against the #4 seed Baptist Bible College.
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