CMU Men's Basketball Defeats St. Ambrose

Posted: Nov 11, 2012 1:27 PM

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CEDAR RAPIDS, IA -- Melvin Tillman and Michael Banks, Jr. combined for 32 points to guide Central Methodist University to a 63-57 win over Saint Ambrose in the in the Bosch Financial Shootout.

Both teams entered the game with head coaches approaching milestone wins. Jeff Sherman began Saturday needing just seven victories to reach the 500-win career milestone for the Eagles, while Ray Shovlain was looking for his 560th career win as head coach of the Bees.

The Eagles (4-1) erased a 15-point first-half deficit to the Bees (2-1) in the Hennessey Recreational Center with a 17-2 spurt in the span of 5:46. Banks, Jr. drilled two treys during the run, and a three-pointer from Caleb Shaw tied the game at 29-all with 3:22 left in the opening period. Central Methodist scored the final four points of the opening half, including a shot from behind the arc by Banks, Jr., to lead 34-32 at the break.

Saint Ambrose held a 49-41 upper hand with 11:47 left in the game after a Sam Ainsworth jumper, but the Eagles again answered, this time with a 12-4 run, to tie the game at 55 thanks to a Tillman seven-foot bucket. An Elliott Black layup with 1:02 on the clock put the Green and Black up for good, 57-55. The Eagles converted six straight free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

Tillman scored a game-high 18 points, while Banks, Jr. followed up with 14. Black had eight.

Ainsworth, Justin Blondell and Nick Frazier tallied 15 points apiece for the Bees.

Central Methodist shot 52.1-percent (25-of-48) from the field, including 56-percent (14-of-25) in the first 20 minutes. The Eagles held Saint Ambrose to 35.6-percent (21-of-59) shooting from the floor.

Central Methodist hosts tenth-ranked Columbia College on Wednesday, November 14. Tipoff inside Puckett Field House is set for 7:30 p.m. CT.

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