Cougars Knock Off St. Ambrose in Tournament Championship
CHICAGO - The Columbia Cougar men's basketball team improved to 11-4 on Thursday, winning their fifth straight contest, after defeating St. Ambrose University 72-62 in the championship game of the St. Xavier Midwest Tournament. Columbia went 3-0 in the three-day affair to claim the crown. The Cougars snap a six game win streak for the Bees, dropping them to 9-6 overall this season.
Shooting a blistering 61 percent from the field in the first frame, Columbia led 40-31 at the break. They led the entire half, fueled by Henrique Medeiros' 11 points. The Bees fought back in the second half, taking their first and only lead of the game midway through the frame. But Columbia quickly rebuilt a six-point lead and never looked back, draining 11 of their 12 free-throw attempts down the stretch to take the 10-point victory.
Leading the charge for Columbia was senior guard Medeiros, who netted 19 points and dished out five assists. Fellow senior Taylor Evans added 12 and Wendell Crowder and Jordan Dressler finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Chris Donnelly led the Bees with 16 points.
The Columbia basketball squad will host the Cougars vs. Cancer Classic presented by Cost Cutters on Friday and Saturday, December 30-31. Participating teams include Columbia College, William Woods University, University of the Cumberlands and Hastings College. On December 30, William Woods will face Cumberlands at 4 P.M. and the Cougars will square off against Hastings at 8 P.M. On December 31, William Woods plays Hastings at 4 P.M. and Cumberlands will match-up against the Cougars in the 8 P.M. contest.