Men's Basketball Defeats Cincinnati Christian
CINCINNATI, Ohio – Asbury men’s basketball moved into sole possession of second place in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on Tuesday with a 78-70 win over Cincinnati Christian. The Eagles are 9-4 in league play while CCU falls to 8-5. Indiana East sits just a half-game behind Asbury at 8-4.
The Eagles (18-10, 9-4) built a 19-point first half lead after a slow start. The game was tied three times in the first seven minutes before Asbury exploded on a 16-3 run to take a 27-14 lead. Asbury continued to build their lead in the final eight minutes and took an 18-point lead into halftime, 42-25.
In the second half the Eagles pushed their lead to 20 early but much of the story was about CCU’s (14-14, 8-5 KIAC) comeback. The Golden Eagles shot 60-percent after halftime after shooting at a 40-percent clip in the first half. Asbury shot 45-percent in both halves.
Cincinnati Christian methodically chipped away at the Eagles’ lead until finally getting within 10 for good with 6:17 to play. Four minutes later the lead was down to three at 66-63. After trading baskets Adam Delph hit a jumper to push the lead back to five. Delph finished with a game-high 21 on 8-of-14 shooting and made all three three-point attempts.
DJ McCommons hit a three to cut the lead back to four in the final minute but the Eagles were a perfect 6-of-6 from the line down the stretch to seal the victory. Mitch McLeish added four free throws down the stretch and scored all six of his points from the line in the game. The Eagles finished 18-of-21 from the charity stripe. The Eagles also shot the ball went from distance, connecting on 8-of-18 from beyond the arc. Cincinnati Christian made just 3-of-13 from beyond the arc.
CJ Penny added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Eagles, making 6-of-12 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Justin Jones added 12 points, five rebounds and five blocks, breaking the school record for career blocks. Jones now has 210 for his career, passing Christian Schmutz’s record of 207.
Asbury has won three straight and seven of their last eight after a 2-3 start to league play. The Eagles lost five of seven in December and January before their recent 7-1 stretch.
The Eagles will host KIAC top-ranked and No. 11 Indiana Southeast on Saturday at 4pm before wrapping up the regular season on Tuesday at home against Indiana East.