OLATHE, Kan. – In two completely different outcomes, the ONU men’s basketball team split two games while at the Nazarene Thanksgiving Classic in Olathe, Kan. hosted by MidAmerica Nazarene University. In the first game on Friday, Nov. 23 the Tigers fell in a big way to the host Pioneers, 93-58, but bounced back the next day to defeat Trevecca Nazarene University (Tenn.) 79-54.
The Tigers (4-4) fell behind early to MidAmerica (7-1) by giving up transition lay-ups and failing to play efficiently in on the offensive end. By the 8:42 mark of the first half Olivet trailed 30-11. However, the Tigers fought back to make it make it a nine-point with 26 seconds remaining in the half. The second half was all in the Pioneers favor as the Tigers failed to control the running game of MidAmerica. Olivet trailed big most of the second half and shot only 35 percent from the floor, making it hard to come back.
On the other hand, ONU responded well against Trevecca (1-6) getting out to an early 9-0 lead and extending to 22-2, eventually holding a 38-24 lead at the half. The Tigers controlled the game in every facet, getting the free-throw line and rebounding well. In the second half it was much of the same as Olivet pushed their lead forward and led by as many as 26, shooting 29 total free-throws and outrebounding Trevecca by 27.
Senior Jake Boyce (Lockport, Ill.) finished with his fifth double-double of the year (leads CCAC) against MidAmerica, scoring 10 points and adding 10 boards. Against the Trojans he added six points, nine rebounds, and three assists.
Freshman Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) finished with his 10 points and nine rebounds against MNU. He led the Tigers in scoring against Trevecca with 15 points, adding six boards, going 6-for-10 from the charity stripe.
Sophomore Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) finished with 14 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field and 3-for-6 from three-point line and free-throw line. He also had three rebounds and six assists in 32 minutes against Trevecca.
Ben Worner (Washington, Ill.) finished with 14 and 15 points to lead the Tigers on both nights, respectively against MNU and TNU. He also added three boards both games, making five three-pointers on the weekend.
Sophomore Tony Banks (Peoria, Ill.) finished with nine points on 4-for-10 shooting from the field against Trevecca. He added three boards and had a total of eight assists the whole weekend.
Senior Torey Laferney (Flint, Mich.) had a combined 17 points, three rebounds, and six assists.
For MidAmerica, Conner Langrehr had 13 points and two boards, Jacob French and Nick Syrie each had 10 points and Rustin Dowd had 12 points and five steals. David Clark added 11 points and three rebounds off the bench.
Marquise Rudolph led Trevecca with 13 points, four rebounds, and one assist. JP Nyadaro had eight points and two rebounds while Taylor Ward had six points.
Overall against the Pioneers, the Tigers shot 23-for-65 from the field (35.4 percent) They were outrebounded MidAmerica 37-33, committed only 23 turnovers and totaled 16 assists, and 10 offensive rebounds.
Against Trevecca, the Tigers shot 28-for-55 from the field (50.9 percent) They outrebounded TNU 45-18, committed only 15 turnovers and totaled 23 assists, and 18 offensive rebounds.
Worner has made 137 career three-pointers, good for 16th all-time, one behind Jeff Park and Ryan Paxson (138) for 14th.
The Tigers will be in action again on Wednesday, November 28 against conference opponent Trinity Christian College (Ill.) in McHie Arena starting at 7:30 p.m.
Boxscores: MNU: http://web.olivet.edu/sports/basketball/men/games/2012/onumbb07.htm