Champion MBB Move To 5-0 And Make History
The Champion Christian College Tigers take care of business at home against the Kansas Christian College Falcons 87-76 to improve to 5-0 against NCCAA DII competition. This is the best start to conference play in school history for Champion. The Tigers once again came out and played a well rounded game, with 4 players scoring double digits, and 7 players scoring 6+. Led by the two headed monster of Braylon Hawkins (20 points and 10 rebounds) and Ariyon Williams (16 points and 5 assists) the Tigers were able to get it done against a very talented KCC team, although the Falcons didn't go down without a fight. The Tigers, after falling behind 3-0 after the first possession, would not fall behind the rest of the game, leading for the remaining 38 minutes, and being tied 3 times.
In the first half, the Tigers battled tooth and nail with the Falcons for the first few minutes, trading buckets back and forth. Champion, being the larger team, attacked the inside feeding Keyshaun Scott and Braylon Hawkins in the post, where they were able to go to work. The Tigers allowed KCC to stay in the game by giving them the ball, turning it over 3 times in the first 4 minutes. They would get that under control by the end of the game, finishing with only 14 turnovers, the lowest number all year.
With the game tied at 14, the Tigers would go on their first run of the game, pulling away, as the Falcons never tied the rest of the game. Two quick layups from new addition KJ Corder and a beautiful pass from Kyle Malone to Arlon Jenkins put the Tigers ahead 20-14. Malik Laurent, his first appearance in nearly 3 weeks following an ankle injury, would get a fast break layup, leading to a time out from KCC. Eventually, Champion stretched the lead to 12 in the first half, but turnovers allowed Kansas Christian College to cut the lead to just 7 at the half.
To start the second half, CCC looked like a deer in the headlights as the Falcons were able to do whatever they wanted on the court. KCC battled hard to cut the lead all the way down to just 2. Champion played some stifling defense for 40 minutes, but allowed 18 offensive rebounds, giving up second chance points left and right for the Falcons.
With 10 minutes left and the score 56-54, the Tigers were looking for answers, and they got a big one with a block by Malik Laurent, and a beautiful drive and kick 3 from Kyle Malone to push the lead to 5. The lead would hover there, and with some timely plays from Ariyon Williams, the game would be right around 8 the rest of the way. With 1:30 left on the clock, Ariyon Williams picked the pocket of a KCC guard and took it the other way for a one handed slam to push the lead to 12 and seal the deal.
Defense was the key to victory tonight overall, holding the 2nd highest scoring team in the NCCAA to just 76, 10 below their average, and limiting the Falcons to 39% from the field and 22% for 3. Malik Laurent and KJ Corder had a block party and everyone was invited, with Laurent blocking 4 shots and Corder blocking 3.
Some notable performances from tonight's game:
Braylon Hawkins: 20 points, 10 rebounds shooting 56% from the field and 50% for 3
Ariyon Williams: 16 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals
Kyle Malone: 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
KJ Corder: 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks