MCC Men Finish Sixth at Nationals

The MCC men's basketball team entered the National Tournament as the lowest seed in the ten team field, but the Thunder gave a solid respresentation of themselves by finishing with a 2-2 mark and finishing sixth.  After their thrilling first round game MCC took on Lancaster Bible College the #2 seed who would go on to win the National Tournament.  At halfime MCC trailed 41-34, but to start the second half LBC would score the first eight points and would never look back on their way to a 87-64 victory.

On Friday MCC played its third straight day and this time knocked off the #6 seed, University of Valley Forge.  This was the fourth time that these schools had met at the National Tournament since 2008 and MCC had come up short in the previous three meetings.  Valley Forge would get off to a strong start and they led 37-25 with about four minutes left in the first half.  However the Thunder closed the half on a 12-1 run to trail 38-37 at halftime.  In the second half MCC continued to play well and opened up a 61-50 lead, but the Patriots would not go away and they fought back to close the deficit to three points on several occasions.  Sage Ruis would hit several key free throws down the stretch which enabled MCC to pick up the 85-81 win.  Ruis led the way with 30 points and 10 rebounds.

In the fifth place game, which was MCC's fourth straight day to play, the Thunder had to take on the #1 seed Ohio Christian University.  Ohio, who had won the previous two National Championships, had been upset at the buzzer in their opening game on Thursday.  Ohio got off to a strong start and led for most of the first half, and by halftime they held a 35-31 lead.  MCC came out strong in the first few minutes of the second half by scoring the first seven points to take a 38-35 lead, that would be short lived as the Trailblazers would respond by scoring the next thirteen points to take a 48-38 lead.  MCC would make a few runs in the second half but missed free throws and poor rebounding didn't allow the Thunder a chance to pull out the victory.  The sixth place finish at Nationals is tied for the second best finish ever for MCC at the Division II National Tournament.

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