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After trailing by as many as 14 points, the Central Methodist men’s Basketball team mounted a furious second-half comeback to defeat Mid-Missouri rival Columbia College Friday night in Puckett …
After trailing by as many as 14 points, the Central Methodist men’s Basketball team mounted a furious second-half comeback to defeat Mid-Missouri rival Columbia College Friday night in Puckett Field House.
Both teams entered Friday’s game undefeated and had received votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 poll. The Eagles keep their perfect record intact at 4-0, while the Cougars now stand at 3-1.
CMU led 24-16 midway through the first half before the Cougars surged ahead with a 12-0 scoring run over the next two and a half minutes to take a 28-24 lead. Isaiah Williams broke the scoring drought with a basket at the 6:11 mark to cut the deficit to two points.
Central kept the lead within six for a majority of the half until CC’s Trenton Tisdale nailed a 3-point shot as time expired, giving the Cougars a 42-33 lead at the break.
Starting the second half with a nine-point lead, the Cougars pulled ahead by as much as 14 points midway on another shot from behind the arc by Tisdale just eight minutes into the second half.
CMU ultimately came within two points on a basket from Isaiah May at the 3:30 mark.
A steal and layup by Marcus Anthony tied the game at 70-70 with 3:14 on the clock. Less than a minute later, a free throw by Everett Stubblefield gave Central its first lead since the 9:01 mark of the first.
With 1:22 remaining, Central stalled another Columbia College offensive possession. May put the exclamation point on the game with a defensive rebound and a coast-to-coast dunk to put CMU up 73-70.
The lid remained on the basket for the Cougars. Stubblefield and May each converted four straight free throws in the final 20 seconds to ice the game with a 77-70 win.
Central’s stingy defense held the Cougars scoreless over the final 5:58 of the game, allowing the Eagles to outscore CC 44-28 in the second half.
Three different Eagles landed in double figures, led by May’s 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor. The senior also nearly earned a double-double with eight rebounds.
Stubblefield followed with 12 points while dishing out three assists and recording two rebounds and a steal. Newcomer Peter Turay finished the evening with the game’s only double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. He was the only player on either team to pull down double-digit rebounds.
TreVon Smith chipped in nine points, four rebounds, and two assists, while Williams added eight points. Trey Sinegal recorded eight points and six rebounds off the bench.
Anthony tallied seven points, five rebounds, two steals, and an assist.
As a team, Central shot 44.6 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. In addition, the Eagles converted 70 percent (21-30) of their free-throw attempts. Columbia College converted 64.3 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe and shot 39.4 percent from the field.
The Eagles won the crucial battle on the glass, outrebounding Columbia College 45-33. Central’s inside game came up big with 32 points in the paint, compared to 24 for the Cougars.
Central committed nine turnovers, leading to six points for CC.
Columbia College finished with three players in double figures. Tisdale scored a game-high 23 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the arc. Fellow guard Harrison Vickers added 12 points in a 5-for-8 performance from the floor. Forward Collin Parker finished with 11 points.
Friday’s game against Columbia College marks CMU’s final non-conference game of the regular season. The Eagles enter Heart play on the road at the Kehl Center in Dubuque, Iowa, tonight (Wednesday) against the Clarke Pride. Next week, Central travels to Canton, Mo., to take on Culver-Stockton College. Both games tipoff at 7:30 p.m.
The Eagles return to Puckett Field House for a three-game home stand starting at 4 p.m. with a game against Baker University.
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