RICHMOND, IN - As the Trailblazers hit the road on Saturday morning, they headed to face a familiar opponent in IU East. Exactly one week after their one point heartbreaking loss to the Red Wolves, OCU was set to face them again in the River States Conference Semi-Finals. This time, the Trailblazers were hoping to flip the script and move on for a chance at the NAIA National Tournament. The game would start in a flurry, as both teams traded buckets for the majority of the first half. With under five minutes left, the Trailblazers managed to go on a run that would expand their lead to as many as 11. The Red Wolves would narrows the deficit, but OCU would remain up by seven headed into the break.
The first seven minutes of the second half would remain in the Trailblazers favor, but OCU could not hold off the Red Wolves high powered offense past that point as IU East would go on a massive run, scoring 48 points in the final 15 minutes to take the 102-87 victory. Marquis Jackson (SR/Cleveland, OH) would lead the Trailblazers once again with 29 points, while Jalen Hearn (JR/Columbus, OH) had one of his best shooting performances this season, scoring 21 while going 5-7 from 3-PT.
"I told the guys that IU East is a good team, and that hustle and getting the 50/50 balls would be the difference" said Head Coach Tony Stockman."They came out of the second half on fire, and I was a little disappointed we didn't work hard enough to answer their run. But like I said, we played good and hard, it just wasn't our night." The loss will knock the Trailblazers out of the NAIA postseason race, but the season is far from over as OCU will prepare for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Tournament.
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