MCC Knocks Off North Central

The MCC men's basketball pulled off a small upset in the opening round of the NCCAA National Tournament by knocking off the #7 seed, North Central University (MN), 69-68.  The Thunder entered the tournament as the #10 seed in the ten team tourney.

MCC got off to a strong start behind solid play from David Frost and Sage Ruis and held a 24-18 lead over the Rams.  However for the next few minutes the Rams caught fire from the three-point line connecting on six consecutive three's to take a 36-27 lead.  NCU stretched their lead out to 41-28 but Cole Olberding connected on a three just before halftime to trim the deficit to 41-31.  The Rams hit 10-22 22 three-pointers in the first half.

The Thunder got off to a strong start in the second half and cut the lead to 44-41 about five minutes into the second half.  From there the game stayed closed and neither team held a lead bigger than four points for the rest of the game.  The game was tied at 62 with about two minutes left, and Olberding hit a three to give MCC a 65-62 lead.  NCU would respond with a score of their own to make it 65-64.  A Ruis layup with about 1:30 left pushed the lead back to three, but the Rams would answer again to make the score 67-66.  The Thunder missed a shot with 50 seconds left and the Rams had the ball and a chance to take the lead.  NCU missed their initial shot but got the offensive putback to take a 68-67 with 30 seconds left.   MCC bypassed a timeout and ran a set for Ruis who hit a baseline jumper to give MCC the lead at 69-68.  NCU called timeout with 8 seconds left to set up their last shot, and they got a wide open three in the corner that bounced all over the rim before falling off to allow MCC to come away with the victory.

Ruis led MCC with 25 points, while Frost and Olberding had 10 points each.  Will Chisam made his return from injury for the first time in a month and chipped in with 9 points.  Sterling Turner scored 9 point, handed out 8 assists and came up with 4 steals.

The Thunder now advance to the quarterfinals where they will face off with the #2 seed, Lancaster Bible College (PA) at 12:30pm CDT.

MCC Scoreboard

2/25/2021 | Mens Basketball vs. No. 2s Arlington Baptist College | L, 88-81 
2/20/2021 | Mens Basketball vs. No. 1 Barclay College | W, 109-90 
2/20/2021 | Womens Basketball vs. No. 5 Faith Baptist Bible College | W, 78-67 
2/19/2021 | Mens Basketball vs. No. 3 Faith Baptist Bible College | W, 93-70 
2/19/2021 | Womens Basketball vs. No. 7 Central Christian College of the Bible | W, 64-57