The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

December 1, 2012

OCC beats Ecclesia with late rally

Ozark Christian erased a small deficit in the closing minutes to clip Ecclesia 86-78 in men’s college basketball on Thursday night.

OCC dropped a 103-51 decision in the women’s game.

OCC entertains Grace (Neb.) in a doubleheader on Saturday with the women’s contest scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The Grace men are ranked 10th in NCCAA Division II.

“This was a great team win,” OCC men’s coach Chris Lahm said. “After a good first half, we lost the lead at 71-69 with four minutes to go. I thought we had good execution and strong defense down the stretch.”

The Ambassadors (5-2 overall) received 30 points and 16 rebounds from Kyle Wicklund and 22 points from Darrin Chitwood. Chitwood’s 8-for-8 accuracy at the foul line paced OCC’s 17 of 19.

Rashad Colbert paced Ecclesia with 19 points and Nathan Fort and Spencer Jones each tallied 18. Washburn Southwest product Levi Roberts added 11.

In the women’s game four Ecclesia players combined for 78 points, led by Tiffany Wisely’s 22 points. Sibyl Thomas, who was 9-of-10 from the floor, and Caitlyn Wiliams each scored 19, and Tabitha Nelson had 18.

Sarah Rhodes tallied 28 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots for the Ambassadors. Rhodes was 11-of-20 from the floor, 2-of-3 from 3-point range and 4-of-7 at the foul line.

Anna Chandler contributed 13 points for OCC, which shot 42 percent compared to Ecclesia’s 52 percent.

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