OKLAHOMA CITY — Central Christian College’s basketball teams received a rude welcome to the Sooner Athletic Conference on Thursday.
In their SAC debut, Central’s men suffered an 83-76 road setback to preseason No. 22 Mid-America Christian University.
Cam Martin was terrific in defeat, drilling 7 3-pointers on his way to 30 points. Freshman TJ Williams came off the bench for 22, along with 12 rebounds.
“We had our chances throughout the night, but too many turnovers that proved costly in big moments in the game,” Central coach Tony Romero said. "Our guys competed hard, but we need to do a better job contesting shots, especially since we knew they could really shoot the ball. We thought if we could keep them to 7-or-under made 3s, we would be in good position to win, we gave up 10. Defensively, we lost guys at times or were slow getting out to their shooters. We had a one-possession game in the last minute on the road in a tough environment, we just didn't do a good job in the last minute finishing plays on both sides of the floor."
Central, now 5-2 overall, was down only 41-35 at the half.
Central (76) — Warren 5, Osagie 4, Martin 30, Lenard 5, Ard II 4, Daniels 2, Williams 22, Kuminga 3, Simpson 1.
Mid-America Christian (83) — Rhodes 17, Sawyer 3, Perry 17, Upshaw 5, Woodson 3, Mayimba 11, Perkins 13, Bogle 14.
• MID AMERICA CHRISTIAN WOMEN 108, CENTRAL 63 — The Tigers made just 24 of 77 shots and were 7 of 43 from 3-point in suffering the loss, which leaves them 1-8 on the season.
Holly Golden sparkled in defeat with 23 points, making 9 of 15 shots. But the rest of the Tigers were just 15 of 62.
Havanna Yannello chipped in with 14 points and Bailey Travino added 11.
“I gambled by going with a small lineup and it did not pay off,” Central coach Marc Golden said. “They won the rebounding battle. When you add our shooting struggles to the situation you get a really long night. At the end of the day we cannot play this poor level of defense for one more day."
Central (63) — Travino 11, Banks 5, Yannello 14, Anderson 4, Golden 23, Mefford 6.
Mid-America (108) — Shannon 28, Ozoani 15, Coffman 8, Denton 12, Flores 9, Thrailkill 3, Savage 2, Alley 6, Hines 7, Thompson 9, Fairley 6, Wilson 3.
Both Tiger teams play Saturday at University of Science and Arts.