Courtesy: Emporia State Athletics
December 30, 2017-Emporia State closed out the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 72-60 win over Central Christian (Kan.) on Saturday afternoon in White Auditorium.
The Hornets started out as cold as the weather outside as they missed their first three shots and fell behind 5-0 with 18:39 left in the first half. Stephaun Limuel got Emporia State on the board with layup inside with 18:13 left to ignite a 12-2 Hornet run. Garin Vandiver’s three-pointer with 14:30 left gave Emporia State a 12-7 lead before the Tigers went on a 7-2 run to tie the game at 14 with 12:28 left. Vandiver and Hassan Thomas combined on a 7-0 run to put the Hornets back up by seven at 21-14 with 11:06 left in the half.
The Tigers would not go away as they answered the Hornets run with a 10-1 run of their won to take a 26-24 lead with 6:03 remaining in the half. There would be five lead changes and three ties over the final 5:44 of the half. Brandon Hall would score the final seven Hornet points of the period and gave Emporia State a 35-34 lead on a break away layup with 1:29 left. That would be the final points of the half as the Hornets took a one point lead to the locker rooms.
Brian Morton scored the first points of the second half for Emporia State and Jubril Osagie answered for Central Christian with 19:31 left before the Hornets went on an 8-0 run. Morton’s old-fashioned three-point play with 17:32 left gave Emporia State a 45-36 lead. The Tigers would not go away as they answered with an 8-0 run of their own to pull back within a point at 45-44 at the 15:18 mark. Out of the first media timeout of the half, Hall ignited a 10-2 run with a pair of free throws as the Hornets began to get separation with a 55-46 lead and 11:48 remaining. The teams traded baskets until Thomas scored six straight points to give Emporia State a 63-50 lead with 7:02 left. Central Christian would not get closer than nine points the rest of the night and Emporia State saw the lead grow to as many as 16 before settling for the 72-60 final score.
Brandon Hall led all scorers with 20 points and added six rebounds with three assists and two steals. Hassan Thomas had 16 points, eight rebounds and two blocks off the bench while Brian Morton joined them in double figures with ten points. Stephaun Limuel filled the stat sheet with six points, six rebounds, four assists,, three blocks and two steals for Emporia State.
The next action for the Hornets will be the 210th edition of the Turnpike Tussle on January 6. Tip-off at Washburn’s Lee Arena in Topeka is set for 7:30 p.m.