Joplin, MO - The Barclay College Men's Basketball team went into this last weekend's MCCC Tournament as the #2 seed following a respectable 8-2 conference record. Tournament time, however, put all the teams back on level playing ground.
On Valentine's Day, the Bears were pitted against #7 Calvary Bible. The Bears had beaten them twice this year already but the Warriors came revved for an upset. The Bears built their biggest lead in the opening minutes when they went up 10-2 only to see the Warriors get back within 4 at half, 37-33. The score was back and forth in the second until the Warriors built a small lead in the closing minutes of the game before a steal and lay-up by Sophomore Charles Brodhead forced overtime. In the overtime session, the Bears held the Warriors to one point to prevail 81-74.
Brodhead led all scorers with 31 points and 13 boards. Sophomore Brandon Howarth added 17 points and 12 rebounds while Freshman Titus Gwess contributed 14 points.
Friday night's semi-final match-up featured Ozark Christian. Even though the Ambassadors were playing on their home court, the Bears exploded to a 42-35 halftime lead thanks to 61.5% shooting from three point range. Unfortunately the tables turned in the second half as the Bears ran out of gas. The Ambassadors shot 60.7% from three point range while holding the Bears to 21 second half points to earn themselves a spot in the championship game, 77-63.
Brodhead once again led the Bears with 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists while Howarth added 15 points and 6 rebounds.
Saturday's consolation game was with Central Christian College of the Bible. Once again the Bears controlled the first half and went into the locker room up 33-22. The Saints came out in the second half extremely physical and fought back into the game, but their physical play sent the Bears to the charity stripe 29 times in the second half alone to help the Bears lock up a 74-70 victory, good for third place in the tournament.
Brodhead had 23 points and 7 rebounds to lead the way. Howarth had 18 points, Junior Austin Ogle had 16 points, and Gwess added 11.
The Ambassadors of Ozark were able to take advantage of their home court advantage to win the tournament.
The Bears (17-8, 8-2) are next in action in the single elimination NCCAA Southwest Region Tournament against Arlington Baptist on Friday, February 22nd at 8:00 PM CST in Joplin, MO.