The Manhattan Christian College men’s basketball team fell short in the Midwest Christian College tournament Saturday losing to the host school Ozark Christian College, 87-74, in the title game. MCC had captured the regular season conference championship and defeated Ozark twice on its way to a 9-1 league mark.
Ozark jumped out to an early seven-point lead, but MCC responded to tie the game. The Ambassadors had a couple of runs and MCC answered every one until Ozark closed the half on 7-2 surge to lead 41-34 at the half.
In the second half, Ozark stretched its lead out to 10 points on multiple occasions. MCC would close the gap slightly only to see Ozark push the lead out to double-digits again.
MCC struggled from the perimeter all day, only connecting on 6 of 26 3-pointers. The free-throw line also proved to be a big difference in the second half, as Ozark was 20 of 27 from the line, while MCC was just 4 of 6.
MCC defeated St. Louis Christian College, 86-45, on Thursday and Central Christian College of the Bible, 96-53, on Friday to advance to the championship game.
Sage Ruis was named First-Team All-Conference and Lonnie Penner was selected to the second team, while Josh Camacho and Jack Mitchell were both named honorable mention selections.
MCC is now 21-10 on the season and will be the host and No. 1 seed for the NCCAA Central Region Tournament Friday and Saturday. The Crusaders will play Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the fourth-seeded Baptist Bible College.