SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Evangel basketball welcomes College of the Ozarks to the Ashcroft Center Tuesday night for the first meeting of the Rib Crib Highway 65 Shootout.
SERIES HISTORY Evangel leads the all-time series with the Bobcats, 52-45, as each team won the home meeting in the series. In fact, the home team has controlled the series with the Crusaders holding a 36-14 lead at home, while the Bobcats are 31-16 in games played in Point Lookout, Mo. Last year, Evangel won at the Ashcroft Center, 77-62.
► Last year the home team won each meeting between Evangel and College of the Ozarks. The Crusaders won 77-62 in Springfield as a last-second shot at the buzzer was waved off giving the Bobcats a 75-74 victory in Point Lookout, Missouri.
► Evangel went 1-1 on the opening weekend falling by seven to No. 6 Columbia College before picking up a six-point win against William Woods. In the win vs. William Woods, the Crusaders rallied back from 14 down in the first half for the season's first win.
► Junior Clark Brewington (Pocahontas, Ark.) and freshman Cade Coffman (Mountain Grove, Mo.) were named to the All-Tournament Team. Brewington was named the Most Outstanding Player after averaging 22.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in two games. Coffman earned his first collegiate double-double in Saturday's win with 22 points and 13 boards.
► In the win over William Woods, Evangel out-rebounded the Owls, 45-32. The Crusaders also shot 50 percent from behind the three-point line knocking down 11 three's in the win.
LOOKING AHEAD Evangel continues home action on Saturday against Missouri Baptist. The Crusaders and Spartans will tip at 4 p.m. following the women's game.
Evangel plays just its second road game of the season Saturday at William Penn where the Crusaders will be looking for their first road victory in the series. Evangel and the Statesmen have met just three times since William Penn joined the league in 2015 with the Statesmen holding a 2-1 lead in the all-time series.
The Crusaders sit at 5-0 for the first time since the 2001 season when Evangel ran the table going 10-0 during the regular season. Evangel finished the year 11-1 after a second-round playoff loss to conference foe Benedictine ended the Crusaders season. It marks the fifth time in program history the Crusaders have started 5-0 joining the 2001, 1997, 1996, and 1988 teams.
Sophomore punter, Raul Avila, was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference Special Teams player of the week. Avila earned his first honor with the Crusaders playing an important role for Evangel flipping the field multiple times in the win over Culver-Stockton. He averaged 45 yards per punt and placed four inside the 20-yard line and also added a season-best 66-yard punt to finish with 363 yards on the day.
A stellar game for junior defensive lineman, Drace Moeller on Saturday saw the Oregon native record his first career interception. Moeller also forced three fumbles, two of which were recovered by Evangel as he now leads the nation in forced fumbles per game averaging one a contest.
Sophomore running back Darrius Lee stepped up for Evangel to finish with his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game of the season. Lee is averaging just below 100-yards per game and his 468 total yards rank 14th in NAIA so far this season.
Senior wide receiver Dallas Hester continues to climb the Evangel record books. Hester joined the all-time top 10 for touchdowns last season and with his seven catches on Saturday moved into a tie for third all-time with 130 catches. Hester sits tied with Anthony Ray (1988-91) and is behind two All-Americans, Jesse Vaughn (2010-13) with 146 and Brandon Schmidly (1994-97) at the top with 148 catches.
Joining Hester in the record books is fellow senior Brady Collier who moved into a tie with Hester for ninth all-time in touchdown receptions. Collier caught his second TD pass of the year and now has 13 receiving touchdowns all-time.