WINONA LAKE, IN - After a huge win over #3 seed Dallas Baptist on Wednesday, the OCU Trailblazers found themselves up against another daunting opponent in #2 Emmanuel College. Emmanuel advanced on to the NCCAA Semi-Final with a win over Life Pacific College. Thursday's semifinal proved to be a good matchup, as both teams brought a talented and experienced squad to the table. The game would begin as a close battle, as both teams traded the lead throughout the first half. Headed to the locker room, the Trailblazers led Emmanuel by two. The second half proved once again to be a close battle. OCU would see their lead grow to as many as eight in the second half, but Emmanuel hung around, cutting it back down to one with 16 seconds remaining. Both John Johnson (SO/Ironton, OH) and Marquis Jackson (SR/Cleveland, OH) would go 2-2 from the free throw line in the last minute to push the Trailblazers ahead, leading to the 80-75 win.
The win places OCU in the NCCAA Division I Championship game set for Saturday at 2:00 PM against Colorado Christian College. Leading the Trailblazers on Thursday was Marquis Jackson, who followed up his 38 point quarterfinal performance with a 34 point, 9 rebound performance on Thursday afternoon. Jackson was also named as an NAIA All-American Second Team member earlier on Thursday. Also performing well for the Trailblazers was Austin Marciniak (SO/Green, OH), who scored 12 points while going 4-6 from 3-PT.
In order to follow the tournament championship live, you can watch every game here. There is be both per game pricing and a tournament pass available for purchase. Live stats and final box scores will be available here. Follow @NCCAAChamps on Twitter for live tweeting of scores and results, and @TheNCCAA on Instagram for pictures. All other general tournament information can be found here.
"We had a lot of players step up big today," said Head Coach Tony Stockman. "We made some amazing plays and played some amazing defense. I am very proud of the way we have come together as a team. Marquis was great, Jalen Hearn (JR/Columbus, OH) and Austin made some big shots. Rijnard Hartman (FR/South Africa) was unbelievable protecting the rim as well."
For more on the Trailblazer Basketball team and the rest of OCU Athletics, follow us on Twitter (@OCUtrailblazers) and Facebook (Ohio Christian University Trailblazers)