BY THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
CANTON, Mo. -- After falling behind by 16 points in the second half, the Culver-Stockton College men's basketball team's late rally fell short as the Wildcats lost 76-66 to Evangel Saturday at Charles Field House.
The loss drops the Wildcats, the No. 24 nationally ranked team in NAIA Division I, to 14-5 overall and 5-2 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. It was the first home loss in eight games for C-SC.
No. 13 Evangel (13-4, 6-1) led 50-36 with 13 minutes, 14 seconds to play when the Wildcats went on an 18-6 run to pull within 56-54 with 6:25 left. The teams traded baskets and C-SC was down by two, 58-56, with 5:37 to go.
Alen Hadzimahovic's jumper pulled C-SC within 63-60 with three minutes left on the clock. On the next possession, Evangel's J.J. Williams drained a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Crusaders a 66-60 edge.
C-SC couldn't get a shot to fall on its next two possessions and Evangel hit three free throws to ice the victory.
Marshawn Norris led C-SC with 19 points and eight rebounds. Austin Keaton added 11 points and Mario Gulley chipped in 10.
The Wildcats trailed 26-23 with 4:42 left in the first half after a 3-pointer by Norris. The Crusaders answered with a 16-2 run to take a 39-28 halftime lead.
Brad Hamilton scored 27 points, including 9 of 10 from 3-point range, to lead the Blazers to the home victory. Raviel Burton added 14 points for JWCC (12-4). James Lane grabbed eight rebounds for the Blazers.
Despite a 26-point effort from Jurgen Lico, the Trojans dropped their third straight American Midwest Conference game. Mario Dean added 22 points for HLGU, which drops to 3-12 overall and 0-3 in the AMC. Harris-Stowe improves to 3-14, 2-2. HLGU was outrebounded 36-26 and allowed Harris-Stowe to shoot 57 percent from the field.