Basketball Sweeps Faith on Senior Day

Manhattan, KS - Saturday was a day for celebration as the Manhattan Christian College Men's and Women's Basketball teams played host to conference opponent, Faith Baptist Bible College, on senior day. The first game of the afternoon saw the Lady Thunder take on The Lady Eagles. The game got off to a hot start as MCC led 20-13 after one quarter and 45-30 at the half. Sophomore guard Elise Corbett stole the show in the first two frames as she entered the break on pace for a triple double with 4 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. The Lady Thunder would continue their hot play as they would extend the lead to 70-48 after three quarters. The fourth quarter would see Faith close the gap, outscoring MCC 23 -16 in the frame, but that would not be enough as the ladies would knock off the Eagles 86-71. Corbett finished with double-double with 10 rebounds and 13 assists. 

She would be overshadowed, however, by senior Shelby Jennings who errupted for a career high 32 points off of 8/13 shooting from three point land on senior day. Following the contest Shelby was honored by her teammates and coaches who praised Jennings for her leadership on and off the court as well as her willingness to do whatever the team needed her to do over the course of her career. As a member of the women's basketball program, Jennings saw a program high in 2017-18 as the Lady Thunder ran the table in the conference - winning both the regular season and tournament titles - and qualified for the NCCAA National Tournament. 

In the late game, the men's basketball team was able to knock off Faith by a score of 81-70. The game got off to a sluggish offensive start as MCC scored only 13 points through the first ten minutes of the game. The bright spot, in that stretch, was the fact that they held Faith to only 7 points making it difficult for the Eagles to score the basketball. MCC would catch a rythm on the offensive end over the last ten minutes of the half and would go into the half leading by 32-28. The second half would see the Thunder begin to put together stops and scores and stretch their lead to as many as 18 with five minutes to go. The Thunder would end the contest leading by 11 points. Payton Stephens led the Thunder with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Alex Mitura and Zach Smalley would each add 14 points. The victory clinched the regular season conference championship and #1 overall seed in the Midwest Christian College Conference Tournament next week. 

After the contest the five seniors were honored by the team in an emotional senior celebration that saw former Head Coach, Shawn Condra, return to the HAC. Alex Mitura, Chelvin Webb, Gabe Awbrey, Payton Stephens and Zach Smalley each played their last regular season contest for the Thunder. Mitura came to MCC in the spring of 2018 and has made his mark as a 3pt sniper who is currently the most prolific three point shooter in program history. Chelvin Webb committed to MCC in the summer of 2017 and has become the emotional leader of the team. Local product, Gabe Awbrey, has made his mark as the big shot maker for the Thunder - constantly hitting big shots in his career. Payton Stephens is the shortest tenured senior, but has made his impact felt in his short time leading the team in scoring and rebounding. Zach Smalley transferred to Manhattan in the fall of 2018 and has made his mark on the program with his leadership and willingness to do whatever the team needs him to do to be successful. 

"I am grateful for each of these seniors and can't believe that this season has flown by so fast. Each of these guys adds a uniqueness to our team that helps our team and I couldn't imagine this season without any of these guys. They will be missed," commented Coach Strom. 

MCC Scoreboard

2/29/2020 | Mens Basketball No. 4 Randall University | W, 88-73 (OT)
2/28/2020 | Mens Basketball No. 3 Arlington Baptist College | W, 94-86 
2/26/2020 | Mens Basketball vs. No. 7 Ozark Christian College | W, 89-72 
2/22/2020 | Mens Basketball No. 2 Barclay College | W, 91-80 
2/21/2020 | Womens Basketball No. 6 Faith Baptist Bible College | L, 67-62