Colorado Christian University’s men's basketball team was named NCCAA National Champion on Saturday afternoon after defeating Ohio Christian University 83-74. This is the second time CCU men’s basketball has claimed this title, after their first time winning the tournament in the 2014-2015 season. The Cougars finished their 2016-2017 season with a 19-16 overall record, including a RMAC Tournament appearance and the NCCAA National Championship title.
It was a great game of basketball as both teams were competitive and determined to win. The Cougars' shooting was slightly more accurate than Ohio, but CCU struggled to hold onto ball, with a total of 18 turnovers. The turnovers gave the Trailblazers opportunity after opportunity to make buckets. Luckily for CCU, Ohio struggled to sink a shot.
OCU's #24 Marquis Jackson was a huge threat to blue and gold as he scored 29 points. CCU's scoring board was spread out more evenly among the squad with five guys in double digits. CCU’s #11 Brett Brady was on point as he had 20 points and went 6-13 FG, 4-8 3FG, 4-5 FT. Ty McGee #15 had 16 rebounds in the game, which is the highest this season for an individual in a game. McGee also scored 12 points for the double-double. Jacob Taylor #30 had 18 points shooting 8-12 FG. He was unstoppable from inside. Dimitri Saliba #10 scored 10 points, #13 Jeremiah Hanson had 12, and #20 Andre Lane scored nine by making three three-pointers.
CCU was up at half-time 39-37 after a tough battle, but stole the game in the second half. They quickly gained ten points on the Trailblazers with 14 minutes to go on the clock, and were able to keep the comfortable lead until the end. The Cougars won the game 83-74.
Two Cougars received additional honors during the tournament. CCU’s #10 Dimitri Saliba was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, All-Tournament Team, and NCCAA Second Team All-American, and #11 Brett Brady was named All-Tournament Team.
Head Coach Kevin Lubbers commented on the championship, "This was a great win for our team and our seniors. Players win games and today our guys did a great job. I was really proud of the way they competed.” He continued, “They battled the whole year and I was happy for them to see them finish with a win. Also special thanks to Coach Mulder, Coach Graves, and Coach Folk for all of their contributions and efforts this year."
See more on Colorado Christian University athletics at ccucougars.com.