The McMurry men's basketball team used a solid defensive effort to defeat Southern Nazarene University, 54-48, in National Christian College Athletic Association Central Regional semi-final action on Friday.
With the game tied at 5-5 with 16:21 to play in the half, McMurry went on a 10-0 run, which included two, three-point baskets by Takoby Jackson to take a 15-5 lead with 10:53 remaining. After SNU cut the McMurry lead to four, 20-16, with 1:48 left to play, McM went on a smaller, 8-0 run, in the last minutes of the half. The run was capped by another three-point basket by Jackson as time was expiring in the frame to give McMurry the 12-point lead at the half.
Over the first half of play, the War Hawks held the Crimson Storm to just 4-of-23 shooting from the field (17 percent) and 1-of-12 from three-point range (eight percent) to take the 28-16 advantage into the break. SNU's 16 points marks the second-lowest halftime score by a McMurry opponent this season (the War Hawks held St. Edward's to 12 first-half points on February, 2).
In the second half, things got a little closer for the War Hawks, as the Crimson Storm jumped out with a 22-8 run to open the half and take a two-point advantage, 38-36, on a three by Garrett Butler with 9:37 remaining in regulation.
The two team's would tie the score four times over the next six minutes, with the final tie coming at 44-44 on a jumper by Alfred Perez with 3:34 left in the game. Back-to-back jumpers by DJ Stennis and Jackson gave McMurry the four-point advantage, and they would not give the lead back, outscoring SNU 10-4 over the final three minutes to take the 54-48 victory and move on to the NCCAA Central Regional Final.
Offensively, McM was led by Jackson's 16-points. Stennis added 11 points while Antonio Bell chipped in with 10.
Defensively, the War Hawks held Southern Nazarene to 32 percent shooting for the game, and 19 percent from beyond the three-point line. The War Hawks also forced 16 Crimson Storm turnovers and allowed just six assists. SNU officially marks the sixth different opponent this season that the War Hawks have held under 50 points.
McM will finish up central regional action in the final tomorrow, when they take on the Evangels of Mid-America Christian University. MACU defeated Oklahoma Christian, 89-87, in the other semi-final match of the evening. The contest will follow the women's final, which is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on the campus of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.The McMurry men's basketball team used a solid defensive effort to defeat Southern Nazarene University, 54-48, in National Christian College Athletic Association Central Regional semi-final action on Friday.
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.