On Monday night the Ecclesia College Royals hosted Ozark Christian College at home. Hungry for their first win of the season, the Royals came out ready to play. It would be an explosive game with lots of excitement.
The game started with Ecclesia going on an early run and jumping out to a 15-4 lead, with the help of Freshman Zachary McGee who drained three 3-pointers within the first three minutes of play. Despite the early lead, OCC would get back into the game and keep it close. Going into the half, Ecclesia led 41-34. McGee had 19 points including 5 threes, and Deondre Phillips had ten.
In the second half Ozark Christian battled, evened the score, and at one point took a 5 point lead. However, the home Royals kept fighting and took the lead back. Ecclesia’s offense in the second half was a team effort, as 15 of 17 bench points were scored in the period. With just under 4 minutes left to play EC led 77-73, and then with a minute left to play the lead was up to six.
The Royals held the lead and earned their first win of the season with a 93-82 score. Zachary McGee led the offense with 25 points. Senior Drew Cone added 21, and Sophomore Deondre Phillips tallied 17. Freshman Terrell Green quietly came close to a double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds. It was a good win with a lot of positives and Ecclesia hopes to build upon this game moving forward through the season.
Next up the Royals hit the road for their next twelve games. It will be a grueling trip as they will compete against very talented competition including NCAA Division I and Division 2 programs, and three nationally ranked NAIA programs. The trip will not be easy but will be an excellent opportunity for growth, development, and chemistry building for this young Royals squad.