Thunder Lose Heartbreaker to Barclay

Haviland, KS - The third ranked Manhattan Christian College Thunder men's basketball team was back in action facing a ranked conference opponent, in the #10 Barclay College Bears. Coming in to the game the Bears were tied for the lead in the MCCC conference, with a record of 6-1, with their sole loss in conference play coming to the Thunder in Manhattan back in January, 103-85. 

Tonight the two teams were back at it, looking to take sole possession of the conference, and bragging rights. The Bears had been blown out in Manhattan a few weeks prior, but were looking for revenge and a victory to set them apart from the Thunder in the conference standings. 

The game started out with a very back and forth game that saw the Bears take the lead early, and they would not forfeit that lead until late into the second half. At points in the first half they would stretch their lead as high as 10 points, but they never seemed to gain enough momentum to bury the Thunder in the first. 

Manhattan was able to stay in the game thanks to great shooting from inside, relying heavily on their ability to get to the rim where they were much bigger than the Bears, who pride themselves on their full court defense. 

The Bears utilized their skill in their full court press, turning over the Thunder a number of times by speeding them up and forcing them to make quick, arraint passes. The Thunder would gain traction and cut into the deficit, just to see the Bears hit a big bucket, or force another turnover. 

The first half and much of the game was plagued with questionable calls effecting both sides. Thunder junior forward Nick Babalola would find himself in foul trouble late in the half, as he would pick up his second foul with just over five minutes remaining in the half. 

At the 7:30 mark, the Thunder had cut the deficit to just three points at 26-23, but thanks to great outside shooting, and an ability to hit foul shots the Bears were able to go on a 16-11 run to close out the half, keeping a lead at the intermission of 42-34. 

The second half seemed to be all Barclay Bears, as they came screaming out and mounted an 18-9 run throughout the first seven minutes of play, to stretch their lead to 17. This would be the highest the deficit would reach in the game, but the Bears were able to maintain a double digit lead late into the game. 

A crazy sequence of events that saw the Bears sophomore guard Jay Milton miss a pair of free throws, which lead to a Thunder runout that ended in a turnover with the ball headed the other way, ending that possession with a missed dunk by Milton, and a quick 5-0 run that included a big time three from Thunder freshman Gary Woods, and an immediate steal and bucket by senior Will Chisam that would cut the deficit to just 7, at 61-68. 

The remainder of the game the Thunder would see the deficit reach double digits twice more, but were able to claw back into it with tough defense and returning to what had got them there; their inside play.

The Thunder took their first lead of the game at the 3:15 mark at 76-75, but a reach in foul would send former MCCC player of the year Charles Brodhead to the line to shoot a one and one. Brodhead would connect on both, putting the Bears back in the drivers seat with just under two minutes of play remaining. He would be fouled on the following possession again for the Bears, this time knocking in one of two free throws, expanding their lead to 78-76.

The Thunder being a rather experienced team didn't panic, instead they put together a nice possession that saw great ball movement, and every player on the court touching the ball, and would end with junior Jacob White hitting an enormous three point shot from the left corner, to put the Thunder back on top, this time 79-78. 

The Bears came down with their clear intention being getting to the rim, as most shots inside 5 feet seemed to be drawing enough contact to warrant a foul, they did just that, as they were able to get to the line and connect on one of two free throws, to tie the game at 79.

The Thunder came down, this time seeming out of sorts and confused as they were unable to get a good look at the rim, and the possession ended with Sterling Turner heaving a 25 foot jumper as time expired on the shot clock, unable to connect. 

Another Brodhead drive to bucket resulted in a touch foul, but with both teams being in the bonus he headed to the line once more. He would calmly and confidently knock down both shots, to give his team an 81-79 lead with just under seven seconds remaining in the game. 

The Thunder were able to call a timeout and draw up a play in an attempt to either tie the game with a two, or win with a three. Advancing the ball past half court on the inbound, sophomore Sterling Turner was able to make a run at the basket, but despite contact was unable to make the basket or draw a foul. The ball would go off of Barclay with just :01 remaining on the clock, giving the Thunder just enough time for a last ditch tip attempt before time expired. 

They were unable to connect on the inbounds play set up for Gary Woods, and would fall to the #10 Barclay College Bears, 81-79. With the loss, the Thunder move to 17-9 on the season, and 7-2 in conference play. The loss also ended a very impressive eight game winning streak the Thunder men rode into this game on. 

Despite the loss, the Thunder had some outstanding individual performances. Sophomore Sterling Turner accomplished an impressive feat recording a triple-double in the game with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. Junior Nick Babalola had himself a night as well, earning a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards despite battling foul trouble throughout. Other Thunder in double digits for scoring included senior Will Chisam with a game high 18 points, and junior Michael White with 12. 

The Thunder will travel east over the weekend for a two game road stint that includes two conference matchups with rival #RV Ozark Christian College (Joplin, MO) Friday at 7:30PM, and Baptist Bible College (Springfield, MO) for a 4:00PM tip. Be sure to check in with the Schedule and Results for respective coverage of each game. 



Manhattan Christian College:

#4 Sterling Turner 12 (1), #5 Dalton Miller 5 (1), #12 KJ Dobbins 5 (1), #14 Michael White 12, #21 Jacob Harper 7 (1), #23 Gary Woods 5 (1), #24 Izic Vanegas 2,

#32 Nick Babalola 13, #33 Will Chisam 18. 

Barclay College:

#3 Adrian Maloney 5 (1), #4 David Lewis 3, #10 Jay Milton 13, #11 Jay Bradley 14 (2), #13 Lex Pena 7 (1), #15 Cole Hibler 8 (2), #21 Tanner Huck 2,

#22 Quinton Walker 13 (2), #23 Charles Brodhead 12, #30 Brandon Jackson 4. 


( ) = MADE 3PT field goals

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