by Philip Dowden
Evangel University’s basketball teams caught fire on Tuesday night, both of them beating ranked opponents on the road.
The game saw 19 ties and 11 lead changes with 10 of the ties and five lead changes coming in the fourth quarter.
“I am super proud of our entire team tonight,” said head coach Megan Leuzinger. “We had energy from every single player tonight! We knew this was going to be a tough game, especially at Central Methodist. Our girls came out and fought from the tip-off.”
The final lead for the Crusaders came with 31 seconds left as Kylee Moore knocked down a pair of free throws to push the lead to 85-85. Moore was one of five Crusaders to finish in double figures with 10 points.
From there Evangel would fight off the Eagles who saw three final attempts in the final 31 seconds. Freshman Sadie Chisum and Vogts who both sink two free throws to help seal the victory.
“Kylee and Sadie did an incredible job handling the ball for us tonight,” Leuzinger added. “Lexie and Bri were great offensively and defensively for us and really crashed the glass well.”
For the men, a hot-shooting night propelled the Crusaders to a 77-68 upset of No. 20 Central Methodist Tuesday night.
The Crusaders used a big second-half shooting 65 percent from the field while sophomore Cade Coffman scored a game-high 23 points. Coffman finished 9 of 12 from the field to help pace Evangel in the win.
Nate Davis knocked down a three-pointer with 6:36 left in the first half to put Evangel up 29-26. From there the Crusaders would take a 39-36 lead into the locker room at halftime and never look back. Davis added 17 points and six assists in the win for Evangel.
“We did a lot of things well on offense tonight,” said head coach Steve Jenkins. “The way we moved the ball on the offensive end helped our shooting percentages. We got some great looks and knocked them down.”
The second half saw the Crusaders open a 14-4 run to begin the half and extend their lead to 53-42.
A strong defensive effort helped the Crusaders lock down the 20th-ranked Eagles who went 0 for 9 from behind the arc in the second half.
“Tonight, we had a great defensive effort,” added Jenkins. “We reached a goal holding a team under 40 percent from the floor.”