Score: Evangel 89, #22 Vanguard 90
Records: Evangel (3-11); Vanguard (10-5)
Location: Springfield, Mo. | Ashcroft Center
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel men's basketball team and Vanguard Lions locked in another thriller on the hardwood Saturday evening as No. 22 Vanguard prevailed 90-89 in the Fourth Annual Assemblies of God Classic.
After leading by 10 in the first half Evangel rallied back from 11 down in the second half to take the lead with just under five minutes left in the game. Vanguard managed to stay within striking distance as the Crusaders pulled ahead 88-84 after Dylan Bekemeier made two free throws with 35 seconds left.
After two offensive rebounds, the Lions got a three-pointer to fall with 17 seconds left to pull within a point, 88-87. Vanguard would foul Braden Adams with 13 seconds left as Adams made 1-of-2 to push the lead back to 89-87. Adams finished with a game-high 26 points.
However, the Lions raced down the court and with four seconds left Mario Soto nailed a three-pointer in the corner to put Vanguard on top.
Jalen Norman pushed the length of the court with three seconds left, but his three-pointer missed off the left of the rim as time expired. Norman turned in impressive night finishing with 22 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.
Bekemeier narrowly missed giving Evangel three 20-point scorers as the senior finished with 19.
Connor Griffin led Vanguard with 22 points as Donte Williams added 18.
Cornerstone (Mich.) took home the Fourth Annual Assemblies of God trophy after a win earlier in the day over Southwestern Assemblies of God and a win over Vanguard on Friday.
Evangel returns to conference action after the New Year as the Crusaders head to Avila on Jan. 3. Tipoff from Kansas City is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.