WINONA LAKE, IN - On Saturday afternoon, the Ohio Christian University Trailblazers magical postseason run came to an end, as the #1 seeded Colorado Christian Cougars defeated OCU 83-74 to claim their second NCCAA DI Title in the past three seasons. Coming into the championship, the Trailblazers were riding a wave of momentum that was put together by two big wins over Dallas Baptist University and Emmanuel College, two quality NCAA DII programs. The last obstacle standing in OCU's way was one more NCAA DII program in Colorado Christian, the overall #1 seed in the tournament. The first half would show to be a fairly even matched battle, as both teams took possession of the lead off and on, leading to a 39-37 score at the half in favor of the Cougars.The second half proved to be much more difficult for OCU, however, as the Cougars quickly took control of the game, building a lead that reached as high as 17 points with 5:37 remaining in the game. The Trailblazers would refuse to throw in the towel, however, storming back to come within as few as four points with just over two minutes left. In the end, the Cougars slowed the pace and hit their shots when they needed them most to take the win.
Marquis Jackson (SR/Cleveland, OH) finished the game as the overall leading scorer with 29 points, including going 7-8 from the free throw line. Jackson would also be named the NCCAA DI Co-Player of the Year for the NCCAA and was also selected the the All-Tournament Team. Claude Bogan (SR/Columbus, OH) also finished his career as a Trailblazer with a good performance by scoring 12 points. With the loss, the Trailblazers finish their 2016-17 season with a record of 21-15, while going 12-6 in conference play. Following the game, Senior Nic Baker (SR/Hilliard, OH) had this to say about his time under Head Coach Tony Stockman and the program: "This was one of the most enjoyable seasons I have had in a long time. Every night I knew I could ount on Claude, Gary, and Marquis to fight and give it our all along with the rest of the team. We struggled to start the year but really found our groove in the second semester and even though we didn't finish the way we wanted to, I wouldn't change a thing about the final game, except maybe making a few more shots! I am confident that we left everything we had on the floor".
"This year has been an amazing ride," said Coach Tony Stockman. "We had a few ups and downs with injuries and trying to figure out how to play together, but after Christmas break we went 16-5 and made an amazing run to the National Championship game. Going through this season we have become a family and had so much fun at the National tournament. It was a special season for sure, and I am so proud of how our players fought till the end."
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