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HIGHLAND Park, Mich. –Â The Ohio Christian University Trailblazers remained undefeated (5-0) on the season after pulling away in the second half to top Marygrove men’s basketball, 72-56, on Friday (Nov. 13) in Highland Park, Mich. The Mustangs put forth their best defensive effort of the young 2015-16 campaign, but were ultimately undone by strong second half run by the Trailblazers in Friday’s non-conference tilt.
After allowing 102.5 points per game over the first three games of the season, the Mustangs entered Friday’s non-conference tilt focused on improvingÂ on the defensive end and the renewed efforts paid off early. The Mustangs used a stingy defensive effort to run out to a 17-13 lead with 11:27 remaining on the first-half clock, holding the Trailblazers to one field goal since the 15:40 mark to go on a 12-2 run over the four-minute span.
Baker and the Trailblazers answered with a run of their own to pull ahead by four, 23-19, with 6:32 to go in the first half before the teams’ settled the opening 20 minutes in a deadlock with a halftime score of 27-27. The 27 points allowed in the first half was a season-best for the third-year head coach Craig Covington and the Mustangs.
The undefeated Trailblazers would simply be too much for the Mustangs in the latter half, leading by as many as 20 points on their way to a 72-56 victory. The Mustangs committed 20 turnovers compared to the Trailblazers 10, allowing the visitors to roll up a 21-9 points off turnovers advantage in Friday’s contest.
Depth played a factor as well as the Trailblazers’ bench outscored the Mustangs, 25-12, with five players reaching double figures in the 16-point win. Maquis Jackson led the Trailblazers with 17 points, many of which were set up by Evin Bartlett’s game-high 12 assists.
Ta’Kein Dixson (Atlanta, Ga./Loganville High School) connected on 9-of-16 shots despite going 0-for-5 from three-point land to tally a game-high 20 points â a varsity career-high for the Atlanta native. Dixson was followed by fellow sophomore guard Tyler Sykes (Sterling Heights, Mich./Stevenson High School) with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting and five rebounds.
Sykes also struggled to connect from deep as the Mustangs shot 3-for-18 (16-percent) from three-point territory compared to a 9-for-28 (32-percent) effort out of the Trailblazers.
Senior wing Diante Taylor (Battle Creek, Mich./Central High School) checked in with 10 points and five rebounds while Kenneth Miller (Flint, Mich./Grand Blanc High School) put eight in the scoring column to go along with six rebounds and three assists. Elijah Ingram (Detroit, Mich./Consortium High School) led the Mustangs with seven rebounds.
The Mustangs return to action Sunday (Nov. 15) to take on Madonna in a Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) contest at 3 p.m. The game, scheduled for a 3 p.m. tip-off, will be played at Madonna and will feature live video coverage on the Mustang Sports Network beginning at 2:45 p.m. on marygrovemustangs.com/live.
MEN’S BASKETBALL CONTACT: Tim Johnston |Â [emailÂ protected]/* */Â |Â @tjohnston56
MARYGROVE BROADCASTS:Â The Mustang Sports Network (MSN)Â |Â MSN Twitter
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Category: Men's Basketball