Score: Evangel 96, MidAmerica Nazarene 87
Records: Evangel (7-16, 5-7); MidAmerica Nazarene (13-9, 6-6)
Location: Springfield, Mo. | Ashcroft Center
By: Derek Roberts (Evangel Media Relations)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel men's basketball team was able to put together a complete team effort in a 96-87 win over South Division rival MidAmerica Nazarene Wednesday night inside the Ashcroft Center.
The Pioneers took an early 6-0 lead, but thanks to a patient Crusader offense, that lead was the largest MidAmerica would have for the game. The Crusaders would eventually go on a 21-9 run to close out the first half and held a 41-25 lead at intermission.
MidAmerica shot just 31 percent from the floor in the first half while Evangel shot a hot 51 percent.
With under 10 minutes to play in the game, the Crusaders had grown its lead to 23 points and looked as if they would coast to the final buzzer. However, the Pioneers had some fight left and mounted a serious comeback attempt.
The Pioneers would go on a 13-0 run immediately after the Crusaders held its largest lead of the game of 26 points with just over eight minutes left. Evangel answered the call each time the Pioneers would get within two possessions down the stretch.
Evangel knocked down seven second-half three-pointers after making three in the first half.
Clutch free-throw shooting in the final three minutes helped the Crusaders secure the win with a statement dunk by Justin Washington with 10 seconds left. Washington finished with a game-high 21 points while adding eight rebounds.
Luke Call also finished in double figures with 10 points for Evangel.
The Pioneers had four players finish in double digits with Kellan Turner leading the way with 23 points.
Evangel stays in the Heart South Division Saturday with a road trip to Benedictine before a returning to Springfield for a pair of home games next week. Tipoff from Atchison, Kansas is scheduled for 4 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.