Big Blocks Help Evangel Men Turnback Graceland 90-75

Big Blocks Help Evangel Men Turnback Graceland 90-75

The Basics
: Evangel 90, Graceland 75 | Box Score
Records: Evangel (3-3, 1-1); Graceland (2-4, 0-2)
Location: Springfield, Mo. | Ashcroft Center

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A record-tying defensive performance and hot-shooting helped the Evangel men's basketball team secure a 90-75 victory Wednesday night over Graceland in Heart Conference action.

The Crusaders took the lead at the 17-minute mark in the first half on a Clark Brewington three-pointer and never looked back. Evangel led by as many as 30 points in the first half before taking a 55-29 advantage into the locker room.

"Our guys did it at the defensive end," said head coach Steve Jenkins. "We were persistent, and we were in the right spots. I was really proud of our effort tonight and our guys off the bench. They gave us a good lift. It was a good team win."

The defensive effort was good enough to tie a school record of 11 blocks. A record that was set during the 1996-97 season against Central Methodist.

Ike Egwu and Pavel Antonov each finished with three blocks to lead the defensive pace which also forced 16 turnovers.

"Each game we've improved," Jenkins added. "We still need to eliminate some mistakes but I think we're on the right track."

Evangel made 15 three-pointers in the win as Cade Coffman and Brewington each knocked down four. Nate Davis added a trio from behind the arc and led the Crusaders with 19 points and 10 assists to post a double-double.

Coffman finished with 18 points and six boards, while Brewington added 14 points. Egwu also finished in double figures adding 11 points and eight rebounds for the Crusaders.

Evangel had to fight off Graceland in the second half who cut the Crusader lead to 10 with 3:18 left. However, the Crusaders finished 9 of 12 from the free throw in the second half to hold off the Yellowjackets.

"I was really proud of how we handled the haymaker they threw coming out in the second half," Jenkins commented. "We haven't been used to being up at halftime. So, I told them they need to take that and counter, and we did."

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