Posted: Mar 3, 2013 9:24 AM
SPRINGFIELD, MO - No. 9 nationally ranked Evangel advanced to the Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament championship game with a 77-55 win over Central Methodist at the Ashcroft Center Saturday.
Central Methodist (19-13) trailed by one, 30-29, at halftime and had a 33-32 early in the second half before a 12-0 run by the Crusaders (24-6) put Evangel in the lead for good. Evangel led by as much as 28 points in the second half.
Evangel shot 61 percent from the field in the second half and owned a 40-23 rebound advantage in the game.
Stephen Cotten led a balanced Evangel scoring effort with 13 points. Zack Kleine and Victor Agbasi both had 11 while Korry Tillery scored 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 19 minutes of playing time.
Elliott Black led Central Methodist with 14 points. Melvin Tillman chipped in 10. Alex Barner had seven points and five rebounds. Michael Banks, Jr. and Robert Mason had six points apiece.
The Crusaders (24-6) advance to the HAAC championship for the 10th time in program history. Evangel will play third seeded MidAmerica Nazarene for the conference title after third seeded MNU won at second seeded Culver-Stockton 86-74.