From OCU Sports Info.
Rich Tortorelli, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oklahoma City University completed its season falling to Concordia (Calif.) 74-62 on Thursday in the NAIA Division I men’s basketball tournament at Municipal Auditorium.

Ivan Jelencic, a senior from Sibenik, Croatia, topped the Stars with 19 points and nine rebounds. No. 23-ranked Oklahoma City finished the season 18-9, while ninth-ranked Concordia (27-7) faces Pikeville (Ky.) at 12:30 p.m. Friday in the next round.

Tharone Chilton, a senior from Tulsa, Okla., produced 17 points while nailing 9 of 10 free throws, while Gary Inglett, a senior from Ardmore, Okla., added nine points and five rebounds for OCU. The Stars hit 23 of 32 free throws to outscore Concordia 23-15 from the foul line.

Matt Scott’s transition bucket put Concordia up 23-7 midway through the first period. Scott’s theft, then another fastbreak basket to give Concordia its biggest lead at 47-25 with 2:22 to go in the first.

“Another tale of two halves,” OCU coach Dionne Phelps said. “At the national level, you have to set the tone early, and that’s something we didn’t do. It took us an entire half to get settled. Once we did, we were able to change the course of the game, but unfortunately, the deficit was too deep.”

Trailing 48-28 at halftime, the Stars unleashed a 19-4 onslaught to start the second half. Jelencic tallied nine of his points to key the OCU push.

Inglett pocketed a steal, then set up Jelencic for a transition basket plus a foul shot with 18:39 left. Jelencic posted six consecutive points, including a putback to cut OCU’s deficit to 52-47 with 15:21 to go.

Concordia answered as Lucas Simpson scored inside the paint to increase his team’s lead to 60-50 at the 10:16 mark. The Eagles boosted its cushion to as many as 14 twice the remainder of the game.

The Stars chipped that margin down to nine three times. Jelencic’s free throws sliced the Concordia advantage to 66-57. Chilton nailed foul shots that chopped Concordia’s lead to 67-58, then 69-60 with 2:52 showing.

OCU finished the season 3-4 against top-25 competition. The Stars matched their lowest point output of 2014-15 against Concordia.

“To look at the season in its entirety, I’m extremely proud of our guys, especially our seniors,” Phelps said. “I just wish we were healthy – maybe, just maybe, things would have ended as we planned.”

The game was a rematch of the 2007 national championship game won by OCU. Oklahoma City has a 17-4 mark in first-round national-tournament contests.

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