Cougar Men Finish Non-Conference Schedule Undefeated
COLUMBIA -- The Columbia College men's basketball team closed out the annual Cougars vs. Cancer Classic presented by Cost Cutters with an 84-67 victory over Culver-Stockton (Mo.) College on Sunday night. The Cougars improve to 14-0 on the year with the win, marking the first undefeated non-conference season in program history. The loss drops the Wildcats to 12-3 on the season.
The Cougars vs. Cancer Classic presented by Cost Cutters raises money for Columbia's Relay for Life team to benefit the American Cancer Society. Through ticket sales, raffle tickets, silent auction bids and other items for sale the Cougars raised over $6,100.
Columbia took a 42-34 lead into the locker room after a strong defensive performance in the first half in which they held CSC to 37 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Wildcats 26-16. Brock Walker banked home a three-pointer to beat the buzzer to give the Cougars an eight-point advantage at the break.
Culver-Stockton would claw their way back throughout the second period and eventually tie the score at 59 with eight and a half minutes remaining in regulation. Columbia would respond in a big way, going on an exciting 25-8 run to end the game to close out the 17-point victory.
The Cougars finished the game hitting at a 48 percent (32-67) clip from the field and 8 of 21 from the three-point line. The Wildcats connected on 12 of 34 attempts from distance, but hit just 35 percent from the floor on the night.
Six Columbia players finished in double figures for the game, with junior Devin Griffin leading the way with 22. Walker added 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench to go along with 12 points apiece from Jordan Dressler and Derrick Dilworth. Marquette Murrell and Zach Rockers each finished with 10. Dressler and Murrell pulled down nine and eight rebounds, respectively.
Marshawn Norris led Culver-Stockton with 22 points.
Following the contest a five person all-classic team as well as an MVP was named. Members of the team include; from Culver-Stockton, Marshawn Norris (40 points, nine rebounds, five steals, 10 assists), from Indiana University South Bend, Chris Beam (30 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and Steven Heatherly (27 points, six rebounds, three steals), from William Woods University, Daniel Armah (32 points, 21 rebounds, three assists). Columbia's Derrick Dilworth (24 points, six rebounds, four assists) rounded out the team while Cougar Jordan Dressler (31 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, four blocks) was named the Classic MVP.
Columbia will return to action on Thursday, January 3rd to kick off American Midwest Conference (AMC) play against Williams Baptist (Ark.) College. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.