Dec. 18, 2009
Story courtesy of Olivet Nazarene Sports Information
CHICAGO, Ill. - Throughout the history of Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) men's basketball, much has been done and much has been accomplished, but one feat had not. The Tigers would take care of that tonight (Dec. 17) beating their first-ever NCAA Division I opponent Chicago State, 75-68.
The Tigers move to 8-5 overall with the win and the loss drops the Cougars to 3-6 on the season.
The Tigers wanted a statement win before break and had to do it against a tough opponent. Both teams would start out nip-and-tuck, after 5:13 played the score was 14-13 in favor of Chicago State. At the 12:16 mark, it would continue to stay tied at 16-16, with both defenses playing well, with turnovers high. The trend continued up unto the 8:38 mark with the scored tied at 22-22.
At that point, the Tigers would miss three chances at a score and the Cougars came down and would convert on their third chance. From there, Chicago State went on a 11-0 run to stretch the lead to 33-22, their largest of the game. Brandon Streets would end the run with two free throws.
After it was 33-22 in favor of CSU, the Tigers went on their own 13-3 run to end the half, cutting the deficit to only one, 36-35. Brandon Streets would score seven points in the run. Nick Klomstad scored four points and Cory Hainlen contributed two free throws.
Coming from the locker room, the Tigers had the momentum and confidence to win the game, but needed to execute. They came out and took their first lead continuing their push at the 18:26 mark on a Jordan Harks lay-up, 39-38. From that point it started to look more and more like the early moments of the first half. Over the next six minutes, there were four ties and four lead changes.
At the 12:58 mark it was tied 49-49, and no one would score again until the 11:22 mark when Tyler Baldwin converted. The Tigers went on a 10-4 run from their over the next 4:51 to take a six-point lead, their largest of the game thus far, on a Brandon Streets jumper. However, the Cougars would not go away quietly, going on their own 7-0 run to take back the lead, 60-59 at the 6:51 mark on a Brandan Smith free throw.
ONU would again respond with a 8-0 run over the next 2:43 to take a 67-60 lead on a Nick Klomstad put back. CSU continued to stay around scoring the next four points, but that's when Josh Bronke, quiet the entire game, hit a three from the far corner to put the Tigers up six, 70-64 at the 2:07 mark. From that point, Rashad Mitchell would close the game out with five made free throws and the Tiger defense only gave up four more points.
The Tigers went 11-for-21 from the field in the second half (52.4 percent), 2-for-5 from the three point line (40.0 percent), and 16-for-21 from the free throw line (76.2 percent). They had 12 turnovers and seven assists and scored 40 points, and gave up 32 points.
The Tigers were led offensively by Rashad Mitchell (Batavia, Ill.), who had 15 points on 1-for-4 shooting from the field and 13-for-14 from the free throw line. He added four rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Point guard Antonio Marshall (Bowling Green, Ind.) ended up with 11 points, going 3-for-6 from the field and 2-for-4 from behind the arc. He also added three assists and eight rebounds, all in 35 minutes. Brandon Streets (Lombard, Ill.) had 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting in 21 minutes off the bench.
To note, the Tigers had four players in double figures scoring and played 10 players, and the Tigers had nine players in double-digit minutes.
The Tigers will take a two-week break and be back on the court in the New Year, Friday, January 1 and Saturday, January 2. They play in the Northwood University (Fla.) Tournament in West Palm Beach, Fla. They match-up against NCAA Division III opponent Plymouth State University (N.H.) on January 1, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. (EST) and NAIA Division II opponent Malone University (Ohio) on January 2 at 5:00 p.m. (EST). They will look to win their fourth and fifth games in a row.