Men's basketball wins HAAC tournament with 88-81 win over MNU

2013 HAAC Champions
2013 HAAC Champions

Mar. 5 at Ashcroft CTRFINAL
#3 MidAm. Nazarene (24-9) 81
#1 CRUSADERS (25-6) 88

Springfield, Mo. – Evangel won their sixth Heart of America conference tournament championship in program history and avenged two regular season losses against MidAmerica Nazarene with an 88-81 win over the Pioneers Tuesday at the Ashcroft Center.

The two teams traded leads in the first half before Evangel closed the half to lead 40-37. The Crusaders pulled ahead by 11 midway through the second half but the Pioneers pulled back within three moments later. Evangel shot 57 percent in the second half hitting 16 of their 28 shots.

Stephen Cotten led Evangel with 21 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Victor Agbasi added 19 points while Brodie Wingert contributed 15.

MidAmerica Nazarene’s Rustin Dowd led all scorers with 24 points. Brandon Newton and Jacob French both had double-doubles as Newton had 21 points and 10 boards and French had 18 with 11 rebounds.

The Pioneers are the only team Evangel has lost to since Dec. 11. MidAmerica Nazarene handed Evangel a 78-64 loss in Olathe, Kansas on Jan. 17 and they ended the Crusaders’ nine-game winning streak winning 99-92 at the Ashcroft Center Feb. 25.

Evangel’s tournament title is their second in three years and their fifth since 2002.

The Crusaders will play next in the NAIA-I National Tournament in Kansas City on Wednesday, March 13 or Thursday, March 14. The national tournament bracket will be announced Wednesday, March 6 at 7:15 p.m. on the organization’s website, www.naia.org.

HAAC QUARTERFINALS
Evangel 73 Peru St. 68
Central Methodist 81 Benedictine 69
Culver-Stockton 75 Avila 60
MidAmerica Nazarene 69 Baker 68

HAAC SEMIFINALS
Sat., Mar. 2
Evangel 77 Central Methodist 55
MIdAmerica Nazarene 86 Culver-Stockton 74

HAAC CHAMPIONSHIP
Evangel 88 MidAmerica Nazarene 81

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