The MCC men’s basketball team suffered through their worst half of shooting on the season and lost in the NCCAA Central Region Championship, 69-67, to Grace University.
MCC had swept Grace in the regular season, defeating it 96-75 just a little more than two weeks ago, but Saturday produced different results.
The Crusaders were only able to connect on 5 of 30 from the field in the first half, as MCC trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half before slightly closing the gap at half to 38-26.
In the second half, Grace pushed the lead to 59-46 with a little more than nine minutes to play before MCC would on a 12-2 run to claw back into the game with about four minutes left.
A 3-pointer by Alex Hammack closed the deficit to 61-58, but MCC (22-11) couldn’t sustain the run as missed free throws and missed shots doomed the Crusaders in the end.
Josh Camacho led MCC with 15 points and Lonnie Penner was the only other player to reach double figures with 12 points.
Despite the loss, MCC received one of three at-large bids to the NCCAA Div. -II national tournament in Springfield, Mo., March 5-9. MCC is the No. 8 seed and they will open play against No. 9-seed Multnomah University (Portland, Ore.) on March 5 at 6 pm.