From MACU Sports Info.
Levi Convirs, Sports Information Director

OKLAHOMA CITY — The No. 14-ranked Mid-America Christian University Evangels sent head coach Willie Holley out a winner in his last home game with a 79-71 victory over the Southwestern Christian University Eagles on Sunday inside the Gaulke Activity Center.

The win keeps the Evangels in first place in the Sooner Athletic Conference, still one game ahead of the pace of Wayland Baptist University, who won earlier in the day 95-85 at St. Gregory’s University.

The 13 conference victories are the most for the Evangels as an NAIA school and it’s also the first time MACU has won 20 games since joining the NAIA.  (The 2009-10 season shows 20 wins, however one win was obtained later due to a forfeit).

The Evangels (20-8, 13-3 SAC) led for good from the 3:35 mark of the first half, but the Eagles were pesky and made things interesting down the stretch.

With the scored tied at 30-30 for the fifth time of the opening half, an alley-oop from Semar Farris to Chris Runnels ignited an 11-2 spurt to close the period that was capped by a three from Jerrick Massenburge that made it 41-32 at the break.

A score from Farris quickly put the lead at double-figures 10 seconds into the second half, but the Eagles hung around and scored five straight to come within six.

Consecutive field goals from Yuri Hager stretched the lead back to 51-41 at the 15:04 mark and the Evangels maintained a 10-point lead of 57-47 with 9:58 left.

SCU wouldn’t go away though and four times came within five over the final 8:06, with the last time being 74-69 with 1:01 left.

But Brock Hunter stepped to the line and hit two clutch free throws with 29 seconds left and two more freebies from Jarius Wilson with five seconds left put it away.

Wilson led a balanced Evangel scoring attack with 16 points and Hunter scored 13.  Massenburge added 12, while Farris scored 11 with a game-high nine assists.  Runnels scored eight with a game-high seven rebounds.

Tyler Turner led all scorers with 20 points for the Eagles (7-17, 3-13 SAC).  Vladimir Nemcok had 15 points and a team-high six boards and Timotis Kuckailis added 13.

The Evangels outrebounded the Eagles 36-26 overall and a whopping 11-1 on the offensive glass.

MACU will continue its journey to its first ever SAC title by hitting the road for the final two regular season games, starting next Thursday evening (Feb. 26) at Texas Wesleyan University.  Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. in Ft. Worth, Texas.

The Evangels’ season finale will be at WBU on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Plainview, Texas.

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