OKLAHOMA CITY – Crowley's Ridge College jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first minutes against the #10 ranked Mid American Christian but the Evangels shot lights out from behind the three point line and marched to a 121-87 win.
MACU, the defending NAIA National Champions, sported a roster of 11 Seniors and three Juniors. The much younger Pioneers have a roster of two seniors, one junior, two sophomores and 1o freshman.
Crowley's Ridge hung around for part of the opening half and grabbed a 27-26 lead when a three pointer from Chris Bernard capped an 8-0 run at the 10:34 mark. The Evangels took command from there, with a 15-0 run that put MACU ahead 41-27.
The Pioneers would twice cut the lead to nine before the Evangels closed the half on a 16-6 run, finished off with a three by Olajuwon Garner as time expired to give MACU a 65-46 lead at halftime.
MACU then extended their lead in the second half, as the closest the Pioneers came was on another three by Bernard that made it 67-49 with 18:43 left.
The Evangels were led by Garner with 20 points.
Shaquille Culbreath led the Pioneers with 26 points and Bernard scored 14. Cade Niswonger added 11 points.