GREENVILLE, SC- The Great Lakes Christian College Men's Basketball program kicked off their first national tournament game with a bang knocking off #5 Arlington Baptist to advance to the NCCAA DII Final Four. Both teams started slow offensively with the first basket not coming until three minutes into the game. The Crusaders locked in defensively to shut down the Patriot attack. GLCC forced the Patriots into 12 first half turnovers, and used a 7-0 run to close the half up 33-26. The Crusaders shot only 32 percent from the floor and just 29 percent from three, but GLCC shutdown the Patriot attack in the first half forcing them to shoot just 33 percent from the floor and just 18 percent from three.
In the second half the Crusaders again started slow before they got their offense going. Crusaders hit some timely threes in the second half to push their lead to as big as 13 with three minutes to play. Isiah Reed paced the Crusaders attack scoring 20 points. GLCC had five other guys in double figures on the evening. The Patriots made a run late cutting Crusader lead to just five with 37 seconds to go, but fortunately the Reed iced the game at the free throw line. Crusaders led or was tied for 35 minutes of the game as they would go onto win 76-69.
Inside the Box Score:
- Crusaders shot 20/24 from the free throw line compared to Arlington's 13/17.
- GLCC shot 10/31 from three while ABU shot 6/20
- Crusaders forced 21 turnovers, but also turned it over 18 times themselves.
- The win is GLCC first win at a national tournament in school history.
What Coach Says:
"I am really proud of my guys. This was not a pretty game at all offensively, but we had guys step up and hit big shots when we needed them too. Obviously for us the defensive side of the ball won us this game. We wanted to keep them in front and make them jump shooters and I thought we did a tremendous job at executing our game plan. We also wanted to be sure to limit their second chances and our guys did a tremendous job at finish possessions. I thought Basit's activity on the glass was huge, and Quincy Green came up with some big rebounds too. Offensively we had a lot of guys make big plays when we needed them too." On advancing to Final Four, "I am thrilled for my guys, and I am happy for our college. We are so proud to be representing Great Lakes here. We hope we can continue to do a great job of that." On Maranatha, "Maranatha came to play, upsetting three time defending national champ is a big deal. They played fearless and hit a ton of big shots. We will need to match their energy level and be ready to compete for forty minutes."
Men's Basketball will take on #8 Maranatha Baptist, Friday at 4:00 pm EST in the NCCAA DII National Tournament Final Four.