Thu, Dec. 15, 2011 - [Men's Basketball]
Oklahoma City, Okla
. -- Charlie Shorter
tallied a game-high 33 points, but it wasn't quite enough as the East Central University Tigers rallied from a double-digit second half deficit and then held on to defeat the Mid-America Christian University Evangels in an exhibition for MACU Thursday night (Dec. 15) at the Gaulke Activity Center.
Members of the Oklahoma City Thunder, featuring Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Eric Maynor were on hand and were treated to a dandy of a game.
It was a six-point lead for the Tigers when Caprest Rhone got free for a layup with 38 seconds left, but the Evangels were far from finished.
After Camilo Valencia
drove inside to draw a foul and hit two free throws that cut the deficit to four, the Tigers missed two on the other end that led to a pair of free throws from Charlie Shorter
that suddenly made it 83-81 with 24 seconds left.
The Tigers (3-7) then beat the press and Nick Young hit a layup to again put the Tigers up four, but Shorter dribbled down and nailed a three to make it 85-84 with 3.7 seconds remaining.
MACU still only trailed by one possession after Devonte' Young hit two from the charity stripe, but a half-court try by Shorter hit the rim and fell just short as time expired.
The Evangels led by as many as 11 in the second half and held a 50-40 advantage on a shot by Shorter with 16:17 remaining.
ECU though charged back with a 21-11 run and forged a 61-61 tie on a three by Rhone at the 7:59 mark.
The Tigers then took their first lead of the game as Rhone got fouled shooting a three and proceeded to make all three free throws for a 66-65 lead.
A three by Bobby McAdoo made it a four-point game and a trey by Devonte' Young gave ECU its largest lead of the game at 77-68 with just 2:42 left.
The Evangels (5-4) started out strong in the opening half, as Shorter and George Haynes combined to score all nine points of a 9-0 spurt that turned a 9-9 gridlock into a nine-point Evangel advantage.
A bucket by Cameron Langster
made it 28-15 and then a trey by Valencia stretched the lead to 31-17 at the 6:39 mark of the first half.
Seven straight points from the Tigers trimmed the lead to six and the Evangels went on to a 44-35 lead at the break.
Shorter's 33 points came on 11-of-24 overall from the field, 4-of-8 from beyond the arc and 7-of-9 at the charity stripe. Haynes produced 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds on 8-of-11 shooting. Valencia also reached double-figure scoring with 16 points.
Rhone led five Tigers in double-figures with 29 points and also nailed 5-of-9 from three-point distance. Nick Young scored 11 and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
It was a tale of two halves shooting the ball, as the Evangels shot a blazing 51.4 percent (29-of-67) from the floor in the opening half, but cooled off to a 34.4 percent (11-of-32) clip in the second half. Meanwhile, the Tigers mustered only a 39.4 percent (13-of-33) effort in the first half, but warmed up to a 51.4 percent (18-of-35) clip in the second stanza.
The Evangels out-rebounded the Tigers 42-41 overall and 12-11 on the offensive glass.
MACU will now take the next 16 days off to observe the Christmas holiday before resuming action in the Sooner Athletic Conference at Northwestern Oklahoma State Saturday evening (Dec. 31) at 5 p.m. in Alva, Okla.