MCC Men Split Weekend Games
The Manhattan Christian College men's basketball team split a pair of weekend games in Nebraska. They defeated Grace University on Friday night, 59-56 and then fell to Bellevue University 95-59 on Saturday.
Friday's game against Grace was a region contest for the Crusaders and MCC got off to a strong start opening up a 20-8 lead with about twelve minutes left in the half. From that point MCC would struggle offensively and at halftime MCC held 27-26 lead. The second half proved to be a series of runs with each team taking small leads only to see their opponent go on a run of their own. MCC took a 48-47 lead with 5:30 to play and they stretched their advantage to 55-51 with 2:40 left, but Grace would score the next four points to tie the score at 55 with 1:19 remaining. The Crusaders had the ball with 47 seconds remaining and 2 seconds on the shot clock with the ball on the side and Will Chisam was able to convert a basket just before the shot clock expired to give MCC the 57-55 lead. On Grace's ensuing possession they were fouled but converted only one free throw to trim the margin to 57-56. Grace fouled MCC with 16 seconds left, but MCC missed the front-end of the one-and-one and Grace had an opportunity to take the lead. MCC was able to get a stop and Chisam came up with the rebound and was fouled with 2 seconds left, and he hit both free-throws to seal the victory for MCC. Devin Ruis led MCC with 12 points off the bench, while David Frost chipped in with 11 points and Chisam added 10 points. MCC lost leading scorer Sage Ruis early in the second half to a foot injury, this also prevented him from playing on Saturday.
Saturday MCC took on Bellevue University who is currently ranked #15 in the NAIA II poll. MCC hung tough with the Bruins for the first twelve minutes of the game trailing 26-24, however Bellevue went on a 14-0 run that gave them a 40-24 lead and at the half MCC trailed 47-31. In the second half MCC closed the margin to 54-41, but again the Bruins went on a run, this time a 23-6 run that blew the game open. The loss snapped MCC's four game win streak and dropped the Crusaders to 5-6 on the season. Chisam had another strong game scoring 18 points on 9 of 10 shooting and pulling down 7 rebounds. Lonnie Penner added 14 points.
MCC will be at home on Tuesday night at 7:30pm against Union College for their final home game of first semester.