No. 11 Pioneers rally to top Central Christian, 78-70

No. 11 Pioneers rally to top Central Christian, 78-70
Source: Wayland Baptist Athletics

Information courtesy of Wayland Baptist Athletics

McPHERSON, Kan. – Wayland Baptist rallied from a 13-point deficit to knock off Central Christian in Sooner Athletic Conference play here Saturday night, 78-70.

The No. 11 Pioneers (14-4, 7-3) got 22 points and 11 rebounds from Samuel Kalwanyi and 20 points and seven boards from Trevonta Robertson. Tre Fillmore and J.J. Culver added eight points apiece and Tyrone Davis seven.

Wayland shot 46 percent (23-of-50) from the field, with Kalwanyi going 9-for-11. Robertson hit 11-of-15 free throws, where the Pioneers went 28-of-38 (74 percent).

As the first half of conference play comes to an end, the win keeps Wayland tied atop the SAC standings with No. 15 USAO (16-3, 7-3), a 109-97 winner over Bacone on Saturday, and defending national champion Texas Wesleyan (13-6, 7-3), a 95-81 victor over Southwestern Christian.

Coming off Thursday's 79-70 loss at Oklahoma City, WBU fell behind early against SAC rookie Central Christian (9-8, 3-7), which tallied the first seven points of the game. The Pioneers found themselves down by 13, 26-13, before fighting back to within seven at the half, 37-30.

Wayland went on a 9-0 run, with Kalwanyi getting six of the point, and took a 44-41 lead. Central Christian tied it with a 3-pointer, but Robertson nailed a 3 for the Pioneers and they never trailed again.

WBU went up by as many as 13 points, 69-56 to match their first-half deficit, then preserved the win at the foul line down the stretch.

The Tigers got 18 points from Jubril Osagie, 14 from TJ Williams and 11 from Paul Ard II. Central ended with 15 more field goals (22-of-65 compared to 23-of-50) than Wayland but shot 12 percentage points below the Pioneers, 34% to 46%.

Wayland outrebounded CCC, 42-38.

The Pioneers are back in Hutcherson Center at 8 p.m. Thursday to take on Southwestern Christian (10-9, 4-6), which defeated Wayland in Bethany, Okla., on Dec. 16, 87-73. It's WBU's only game of the week due to St. Gregory's forfeiting after the university closed its doors earlier this season.