Winona Lake, I.N.- The Emmanuel Men's Basketball team is ranked as #2 for the NCCAA Division I. The Lions played in the first round of the NCCAA Division I National Tournament against Life Pacific College. The Lions defeated LPC with a final score of 65-71. Emerson McClung led the Lions in scoring with 18-points. He was followed by Zach Lillie, with 16-points, and Derek Vandiver, with 12-points. Ronnie Stanley led the team in rebounds with 7-total.
The first half of the game started out with a jump shot by Kurtis Robinson. Zach Lillie made the next jump shot, but the Lions were already down. Derek Vandiver entered the game and cleared his first 3-pointer to tie the game 7-7. Derek Vandiver came a second 3-pointer right after his first. Zach Vess made a jump shot followed by Emerson McClung. Derek Vandiver got his third 3-pointer of the game with an assist by Ronnie Stanley. Jack Fitzpatrick played great defense and stole the ball from Pacific Life allowing Zach Lillie to make a jump shot. Zach Lillie scored another jump shot to tie the game 25-25 with six minutes left in the game. The Lions were down 31-27, but Ronnie Stanley brought them up 31-30 with his first 3-pointer of the game. Derek Vandiver tied the game up 35-35 with his fourth 3-pointer in his National Championship debut. Zach Lillie snagged an offensive rebound and scored a jump shot on the buzzer to bring the Lions in the lead 35-37.
Zach Lillie scored first for the Lions at the start of the second half. PLC had already taken away scoring and the Lions were down 40-39. Colton Collins made a jump shot and was fouled to bring the Lions up 40-42. The Lions took away scoring with two jump shots by Zach Vess and a jump shot from Emerson McClung. Austin Greene made his first 3-pointer of the game bringing the Lions up by 11-points. Colton Collins was fouled and added two points to the board. The Lions stopped shots and added points for the rest of the second half. PLC began fouling back-to-back and the game would end with Emerson McClung making his last two free throws. The Lions defeated PLC with a final score of 65-71.
With this win, the Emmanuel Men's Basketball Team will go on to play in the Semi-Finals against Ohio Christian on Thursday, March 16th at 3:30 P.M.
For more information, please visit us at www.goeclions.com.