January 10, 2013
By -, -
PHOENIX, Ariz. - Arizona Christian improved its record to 11-2 and won its first-ever Golden State Athletics Conference game, 84-82, over defending NAIA Division I national champion Concordia (Calif.) (11-4, 0-1 GSAC), in collegiate men's basketball action, January 8, at Fultz Memorial Gymnasium.
Coached by Jeff Rutter, ACU plays its next GSAC game Saturday, January 12, hosting The Master's College (11-5, 0-1 GSAC), at 7:30 p.m., in Fultz Memorial Gymnasium. The ACU women's basketball team hosts undefeated and eighth-ranked Master's (14-0, 1-0 GSAC), Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Concordia led by six points twice in the first half, 33-27 with 4:45 left and 35-29 with 4:05 remaining, but ACU rallied to tie the game for the seventh time, 36-36, with 2:57 left and outscored the visiting Eagles, 9-2, over the last 2:10 and led 45-38 at the halftime intermission. Junior guard Charles King (Houston, Tex./Stephen F. Austin H.S./Phoenix College), junior guard Mason Jones (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View H.S./Eastern Oregon Univ.) and senior guard A.J. Koch (Tucson, Ariz./Flowing Wells H.S.) scored 11 points each in the first 20 minutes of action, and Concordia guard DeLaun Frazier canned 3 three-pointers for nine points.
In the second half, ACU shot .542 from the field (13-24) and survived 11 turnovers after committing just three in the first half. King scored 11 more points, and junior forward Jordan Block (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Claremont H.S./Pasadena City College) scored 12 of his game total of 14 points in the second 20-minute period. ACU gained four 12-point leads and led by 13 at one point, 61-48, with 10:11 left. The Firestorm led by 10 or more points from the 16:08 mark until Concordia sliced the lead to nine points, 64-55, with 8:06 remaining in the game. ACU rebuilt its lead to 12, 70-58, with 6:39 on the clock, and led 73-62 with 5:34 left.
A veteran Concordia team, coached by Ken Ammann, battled back and trailed by four points twice, 77-73 with 2:51 left and 83-79 with 1:00 left. A three-pointer by Frazier, his fifth of the game, trimmed the lead to 83-82 with 11 seconds remaining, and a free throw by junior forward Daniel Cornelius (Phoenix, Ariz./Phoenix Christian H.S.) with 8.1 seconds left gave ACU an 84-82 lead, and Cornelius' second free throw missed and was rebounded by Concordia guard Tim Harris, and the Eagles missed a last-second shot and took the ball out of bounds with four-tenths of a second showing on the clock after ACU tipped the rebound out of bounds. Time expired before Concordia could get off another shot.
King finished with 22 points, 2 three-pointers, six rebounds, three assists and one steal, and made 7 of his 12 shots and went 6-for-8 at the free throw line. Block, ACU's second-leading scorer and top rebounder (15.7 ppg and 6.5 rpg), totaled 14 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots, and Koch finished with 14 points, 3 three-pointers, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jones added 13 points, hitting 7 of his 8 free throws, and passed four assists, blocked a shot and stole the ball twice, and Cornelius contributed 8 points, one three-pointer, six rebounds and two assists off the ACU bench. Freshman forward Jackson Helms (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley H.S.) added nine points and nine rebounds, and freshman forward Mike Navar (Chino, Calif./Chino Hills H.S.) gathered seven rebounds and two steals and scored two points.
Three Concordia players scored 15 points each -- Senior forward Dakota Downs, the Eagles' second leading scorer and top rebounder (11.5 ppg and 8.2 rpg) finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds and made 5 of his 7 shots, and Frazier totaled 15 points with 5 three-pointers and had two assists in his reserve role. Reserve guard Alex Rudd also scored 15 points with 2 three-pointers and dished out three assists. Harris added six points, eight rebounds, three assists, one blocked shot and one steal, and senior forward Brandon Hucks totaled 8 points, four rebounds and one steal. Concordia's bench players outscored ACU's, 41-12.
The Firestorm made 29 of 63 shots (.460) in the game and went 6-for-14 from three-point range (.429), and 20-for-33 from the free throw line (.606), out-rebounded Concordia, 44-38, with 16 offensive boards, and committed 17 turnovers, blocked three shots, and stole the ball seven times from the Eagles. ACU led 34-30 in points in the paint and 18-11 in second-chance points off offensive rebounds.
Concordia made 29 of 63 shots (.460), 8 of 22 three-pointers (.364) and 16 of 27 free throws (.593), committed 14 turnovers, and stole the ball six times from ACU.