From MACU Sports Info.
Levi Convirs, Sports Information Director
Bethany, Okla. – Mid-America Christian University men’s basketball head coach Willie Holley entered into elite company tonight (Jan. 17) by recording his 800th career victory with an 86-52 victory at the Southwestern Christian University Eagles at Pickens-Springer Gymnasium in Bethany, Okla.
With the win, Holley becomes only the 17th coach to reach the 800 win plateau and is only the second active NAIA head coach (Dr. Dave Holmquist, Biola University) with 800 victories.
The victory also puts him into the company with the likes of Mike Krzyzewski, Bobby Knight, Jim Boeheim, Dean Smith, Jim Calhoun, Adolph Rupp and Eddie Sutton.
“You never think about something like this since you always just think about the next win,” Holley said.
“There are memorable wins, such as our National Christian College Athletic Association national championships, but what I always remember is the players and the memories you make are always about people. I haven’t scored a single point; it’s the players that have won the games and have bought into what we’re selling. It’s never been about the records.”
As for tonight’s game itself, the first half was close much of the way until Jerrick Massenburge and Jarius Wilson combined to score 11 points of a 13-2 spurt to close the period and put the Evangels up 50-36 at the break.
The Evangels (12-6, 5-1 SAC) really stepped on the gas pedal in the second half and never let up, as 10 points from Semar Farris sparked a 14-2 run that gave a MACU a commanding 67-39 edge at the 11:02 mark.
The game was never in doubt from that point and an emphatic dunk by Jason Nwisienyi with 22 seconds left gave the Evangels their final 34-point margin of victory and their biggest lead of the game.
Wilson scored a person season-high of 19 points to lead the Evangels, while Brock Hunter had a double-double of 15 points while tying his career-high with 10 rebounds. Farris finished with 15 points and Jerrick Warren dished out a team-best five assists.
Vladimir Nemcok led the Eagles (5-9, 1-5 SAC) with 14 points and Tyler Turner added 12.
The Evangels also flexed their muscle on the glass, out-rebounding SCU 44-32 overall and 16-9 on the offensive boards.
With the number of wins being what stands out, perhaps the longevity that leads to such a record is equally impressive.
“My tenure here at MACU can be summed up in three words: Sent, Went, Put.”
“When I first came to Gulf Coast Bible College (now MACU), I went for one semester,” Holley said. “God sent me, so I went there and stayed put and He just hasn’t moved me. God gave me a vision and a burden and the administration here has allowed it to flourish and mature into what it is today.”
Holley, in his 42nd and final year with the program, has guided the Evangels to four National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national championships and 20 NCCAA regional titles in addition to making the Evangels an upper-echelon squad in the Sooner Athletic Conference since joining the NAIA in 2007.
MACU currently stands alone at the top of the SAC standings with a 5-1 conference mark after coming in tied for second in the league last year, their best-ever conference finish.
Holley and the Evangels will now look for win number 801 next Thursday night (Jan. 22) when they will host No. 17-ranked Texas Wesleyan University at 8 p.m. inside the Gaulke Activity Center.