WILMORE, KY - The OCU Trailblazers were unable to hold on to a first half lead on Friday night as they came up short to Asbury University by a score of 78-68.
Ohio Christian played even with Asbury for the first 6 minutes as Wesley Russell scored on a jump shot, knotting up the score at 10-10 at the 13:51 mark in the first half. The Blazers then put together a 7-2 run over the next two minutes, capped off by an Ernie McCoy three pointer, to take a 17-12 lead.
The Trailblazers extended their first half lead to double digits on a jumper in the lane by Evin Bartlett with 4:52 remaining in the first half. The basket gave OCU a 35-25 advantage, which would be OCU's largest lead of the game. Asbury rallied in the final minutes of the first half, going on a 10-4 run to trim the OCU lead. The Blazers headed into halftime with a four point lead with the score at 39-35.
Asbury evened things up just two minutes into the second half, scoring the first two baskets to tie the game at 39-39. Asbury then stole the momentum midway through the second half, taking a 59-49 lead at the 10:49 mark on a layup by Kyle Lamb.
Ohio Christian fought back with a 12-4 run over the next 3 minutes to get within two points with 7:22 remaining. A pair of free throws and two baskets by Lawrence Parsons cut into the Asbury lead as OCU trailed 63-61. A pair of Wesley Russell free throws with 4:59 remaining once again put OCU within arms reach of Asbury with the Blazers trailing 65-63.
Trailing by five, OCU hit two of four free throws and used a Parsons field goal in the final 2:28 to get within three points at 67-70. The Blazers were forced to foul down the stretch and Asbury closed out the game at the charity stripe to seal the win.
OCU was led by Lawrence Parsons with a team-high 15 points and 6 rebounds. Evin Bartlett added 12 point on 4 of 5 shooting. Danny Schrock went for 11 points on 3 of 5 shooting from downtown. Wesley Russell added 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists for Ohio Christian. Christian Mathias went for a season-high 5 points off of the bench.
The Blazers are back in action on Saturday at 2:00 PM when they close out their Asbury Tournament weekend with a game against the Union College Bulldogs.