SCU Men Drop Weekend Twin Bill

By Tyler Moss

Coming into the weekend, Southwestern Christian University’s men’s basketball team had won three out of four games and appeared to be gathering some steam heading into the stretch run of the season. However, that momentum was momentarily halted as the Eagles suffered tough back-to-back losses in Pickens-Springer Gymnasium on the campus of SCU, dropping them to 7-18 overall and 3-8 in conference play.

In Friday night’s contest against York College (Neb.), the Eagles hung around in a tightly contested first half behind a strong effort from senior Tyler Averill, but the Panthers closed the half on a 7-2 run, capped by a free throw from Thaddeus Varmall with three seconds left to extend the Panthers’ lead to double-digits going into the break.

In the second half, it was much of the same from York’s senior guard tandem of Varmall and Marcus Johnson, as the Panthers went up by 17 points before coasting to an 11-point win over SCU, 82-71. Averill led SCU with 24 points and eight rebounds, while Clint Amberry and Tyler Inman each scored in double figures and grabbed eight rebounds each.

In Saturday’s game, also on the campus of Southwestern Christian University, the SCU men made a strong bid at upsetting Bellevue University (Neb.), but couldn’t overcome a torrid first-half shooting performance in which the Bruins connected on 17 of 28 attempts from the field (60.7%). Bellevue junior guard Everett Robinson scored all 10 of his points in the first-half barrage that saw the Eagles fall behind by 13 (27-40) heading into the locker room.

In the second half, the Eagles clawed back and eventually took a one-point lead on a Clint Amberry layup with 6:19 remaining in the game, but the Bruins, led by senior forward Shawn Tarver’s 20-point effort, regained the lead and were able to hold off the Eagles to close out a 61-57 win.

Amberry and Averill led the Eagles with 12 and 11 points, respectively, while each player also record 7 caroms in the game. Inman, Ray Hillard and Jordy Harris each chipped in with five points for SCU.

The Eagles will now get back to work as they prepare to host Oklahoma Wesleyan Thursday night in Springer-Pickens Gymnasium. It will be the third and final game of this home stand before hitting the road for two weekend contests against Central Baptist College and Central Christian College.