Score: Evangel 73, #22 Clarke 80 (OT) | Box Score
Records: Evangel (16-14, 12-12); Clarke (22-8, 18-6)
Location: Springfield, Mo. | Ashcroft Center
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel men's basketball team erased a 14-point deficit to force overtime on Saturday but came up just short 80-73 against No. 22 Clarke.
The Crusaders still earned a spot in the Heart Conference Tournament on Saturday as Central Methodist lost at Benedictine giving Evangel the No. 8 seed. Evangel will head to regular-season champion William Penn on Thursday.
Clarke led by as many as 14 points in the first half before Evangel cut the Pride lead to nine at 37-28 before halftime.
The Crusaders continued to chip away before taking their first lead of the game with 2:51 left in regulation on three free throws from Cade Coffman. Coffman finished with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds for Evangel.
Both teams would go back and forth having an opportunity to win the game in regulation. Evangel had a three-pointer rim out before Edriel Martinborough tied the game at 64-64 with 18 seconds left. Clarke would get a shot off at the buzzer, coming up off the front of the rim.
However, in overtime, Clarke pulled away going 9 of 12 at the free-throw line, while Evangel was just 3 of 12 from the field in the extra period.
Ike Egwu scored a career-high 23 points and added eight rebounds for the Crusaders.
Evangel finished the game 17 of 24 from the free-throw line where Coffman led the Crusaders going 11 of 12.
Clarke was led by 19 points each from Darius Lasley and Keith Johnson.
Evangel will head to regular-season champion William Penn on Thursday in the First Round of the Heart Conference Tournament. Tipoff from Oskaloosa, Iowa is scheduled for 7 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EUAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.