WINONA LAKE, IN - The men's basketball program continued their NCCAA DI National Tournament on Friday night as they competed for 5th place after a big win on Thursday over Bluefield College. It would be down to Central Christian and Ohio Christian for 5th place. After the last buzzer, the Trailblazers would take 5th place over Central Christian in a 69-56 battle. This would conclude the OCU men's basketball season at 24-10 overall and 11-5 in the conference.
"The 2016 NCCAA National Tournament was very organized and a great event," stated Coach Stockman, "The field was made up of some very good teams. It was an honor to be a part of it. Playing Central Christian we knew would be a tough game; they're long and athletic and do a great job of playing defense. It took us awhile to figure them out, but once we did, we executed very well. We focused in on our defense and got stops that we needed. We had great energy and effort which usually leads to good things. It was a great way to cap off the season. You could see all the work and growth that this team has had over the course of the season."
Evin Bartlett (SR/Huber Heights, OH) would conclude his final basketball game of his college career with 5 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds. After the game, Coach Tony Stockman would have this to say about his lone senior, "Evin Bartlett is what an OCU Trailblazer is all about. He has hard work and faith in God. He has been my starting point guard since my first game as a college coach, and has made me look good. He has grown so much as a young man, on and off the court. I am proud to have been a little part of that. He has taught me so much. Our whole program will miss him, but what he has done and who he is will affect our program for many years to come. #2timenationalchampion #1000ptclub"
As the season comes to an end, the Trailblazers would end with a successful 24-10 overall and 11-5 in the first season of NAIA and KIAC conference play. Coach Tony Stockman reflects on the 2015 - 2016 season, "This has been an exciting season for us. We were not sure how we would do in our first year of NAIA and in NCCAA DI. We worked hard and were able to compete at this level with some of the best teams in this country. We had a few injuries, which helped some guys step up and take bigger roles on this team. I am very proud of how this team developed as the season went along. It was great to see our guys grow on and off the court. I am excited to get to work and ready for the 2016 -2017 season."
Follow the Trailblazers basketball program next season and all other sports at www.ocutrailblazers.com and on Twitter and Instagram at @ocutrailblazers.