Lansing, Mich. - The Great Lakes Christian College Crusader Men's Basketball program took on perennial top five NCCAA program Johnson University (TN) Saturday afternoon for another NCCAA Mideast Region matchup. The Royals from Johnson came into the game with a lot of firepower scoring an outstanding 94.3 ppg on offense led by All American guard Taylor Gilpin and Coby Jones. The Crusaders came into the game a little short handed with Quincy Green out with a sprained ankle. The Royals took an early lead, but the Crusaders settled in and regained the lead 14-11 with 12 minutes to go in the first half. The Crusaders and Royals would trade baskets much of the half. Basit Seidu, Ja'Quin Jones, and Isiah Reed helped lead the Crusader offense in the first half, each scoring 10 points. The Isiah Reed hit a buzzer beater three at the end of the half to give the Crusaders a 50-45 lead going into the break.
In the second half the Royals hit back with a run. Kenton Gullion led the Royals attack with 18 points. Crusaders held the lead for much of the second half, but the Royals had a run late to take the lead over the Crusaders. The Crusaders had an answer for every Royal basket. Chailen August, DonTre Garrett, and Michael Hill provided great spark off the bench for the Crusaders. After 39 minutes the game was tied, and Crusaders had the ball with 30 seconds left on the clock, and shot clock running low. Lance Adams got the ball on deep on the left wing and nailed the 3 with 13 seconds remaining. The Royals got two more attempts at the rim late, but the Crusaders defense held strong for the 88-85 win. The win pushes the Crusaders win streak to 4 and are now 3-0 in Mideast Region play. Ja'Quin Jones was named all tournament for the weekend averaging 18ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3 apg, and 2.5 spg in the Grace Classic.
Inside the Box Score:
- The Crusaders bench scored a combined 29 points on 8/14 shooting from the floor and 5/8 from 3. Compared to the Royals 21 points on 7/22 from the floor and 4/7 from 3.
- JaQuin Jones led the Crusaders in scoring with 16 points.
- Isiah Reed scored 15 points, 9 rebounds and had a season high 7 assists in the win.
- The Royals outshot the Crusaders 73-66.
- With the Crusader moves the Crusaders to 4-3, which is first time program has been above .500 in the last 10 years.
What Coach Says:
"I am so immensely proud of my guys and the way they competed today. We did a tremendous job executing our gameplan and scouting report. Johnson is one of the toughest teams to guard. They play fast and have guys who can fill it up. We did a great job on Gilpin and Jones. I can't speak enough how proud I am of these guys. Mike Chailen and DonTre were huge for us with their minutes off the bench. We need those guys to show up in a big way especially without Quincy Green, and they did." On what this win means for the program, "This is huge. Yes it is a regular season game, but Johnson is a top 5 team without question. We think we are at that level but we can't just talk about it. We have to prove it. Tonight we proved we can compete, play, and win at that level. We still aren't done. We have a lot more we want to accomplish. We need to stay hungry."
The Crusaders will travel to Kentucky to participate in the Asbury University Tournament to take on Kentucky Christian University on Friday. Tip off is scheduled for 4:00pm est.