Final: Evangel 67, #13 Central Methodist 82 | Final Stats
Records: Evangel (14-12, 10-6); Central Methodist (22-4, 12-4)
Site: Ashcroft Center
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Evangel returned home to take on NAIA ranked #13 Central Methodist on Wednesday night. The Valor began the night cold and could not recover from their slow start, falling to the Eagles, 82-67.
CMU began the night hot, hitting six of their first nine field goals. By the time the first timeout was called, Central Methodist had already scored 14 points on 67% shooting while EU had only scored six on 18% shooting. The slow start did not deter the Valor; after the first timeout, EU dwindled the Eagle lead to just five, thanks to a Zoey Mullings three to end the quarter.
Evangel played their best quarter of basketball in the second, beginning the quarter on a 5-0 run. With the game tied up at 19 apiece, each team traded baskets until EU captured a one point lead, thanks to a Lexi Berry free throw. This was the only time that Evangel led during the entirety of the game, as CMU ended the quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 40-31 lead into the halftime break. Alexis Roach and Alexis Cauthon led EU with six points apiece.
In the third quarter, Evangel fought hard to keep close with the nationally ranked Eagles, but each made shot for the Valor was countered by a CMU made basket. EU was able to dwindle the Eagle lead down to single digits on three separate occasions in the quarter, but with 1:36 remaining in the quarter, CMU nailed three shots to lead, 61-48, at the end of the third.
By the time the final quarter came around, the impact of playing three games in a five day span began to wear on them. Central Methodist's Arleighshya McElroy scored or assisted on five of the Eagles 11 field goals in the quarter. CMU extended their lead to 22 points with 4:58 remaining in the ball game and EU fought to narrow the margin. Kohnnar Patton scored the final basket of the game, ending in an 82-67 loss for the Valor.
The Valor were led by Abby Wildermuth who finished the evening with 15 points. Patton and Berry both came off the bench and finished with double digit scoring, with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Sarah Lwambo pulled down a team high seven rebounds and Makayla McVay passed off four assists.
Evangel will hit the road for their final regular season road trip to take on the Vikings of Missouri Valley on Saturday (Feb. 12). Tipoff is set for 2:00 pm in the Burns Athletic Center.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, visit Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelValor, Twitter (@EvangelValor), or EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on their favorite EU teams by downloading the Evangel Athletics Gameday App through the App Store or Google Play (https://eu-gameday.app.link/launch).