Tillman, Black Lead CMU Over Avila
FAYETTE, MO -- Melvin Tillman and Elliott Black combined for 46 points Saturday to lead Central Methodist University to a 70-60 win against Avila University in Heart of America Athletic Conference men's basketball action inside Puckett Field House.
Tillman tallied a season-high 27 points, including 17 in the first half, on a career-high seven made three-pointers. The Richmond, Ind., native also tied a career-high with 10 made field goals.
Black finished with 19 points, including 14 in the first period. The Saint Louis, Mo., product was 7-of-12 and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
Central Methodist (11-6, 4-1 HAAC) led Avila (6-9, 1-4 HAAC) 37-23 after 20 minutes of play thanks in large part to Tillman and Black. Tillman was 5-of-6 from distance and 6-of-8 overall, while Black was 5-of-6 from the floor and perfect (4-of-4) from the charity stripe.
Eric Franklin opened the second half with a three-pointer to stretch Central Methodist's advantage to 40-23. The margin would swell to as many as 18 points, 52-34, following a Tillman trey with 11:09 to go in the game.
Trailing 66-53 with 2:36 on the clock, Avila engineered a 7-0 run with five points by Brandon Murillo. A Murillo three-pointer with 43 seconds remaining cut the deficit to six points at 66-60, but Caleb Shaw sank two free throws six seconds later to push the margin back to a three-possession game and end Avila's comeback hopes.
Franklin and Darian Davis came up with seven points apiece. Franklin dished out a game-high 10 assists and tied a season-high with five steals. Davis pulled down a career-high nine rebounds.
Murillo sparked Avila offensively with 15 points. Sedrick Johnson and Brandon Redmond had 11 and 10 points, respectively. Zach Smith recorded nine points and 11 rebounds.
The Green and Black shot 49-percent (25-of-51) from the field, 45-percent (9-of-20) from behind the arc and 78.6-percent (11-of-14) from the free throw line.
Avila hit 43.5-percent (27-of-62) from the floor but only 4-of-9 (44.4-percent) from distance. The visitors also attempted only three free throws, making two.
Central Methodist hosts archrival Missouri Valley College for Staff Appreciation Night on Thursday, January 10. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT.