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Bulldogs beat No. 4 Cincinnati Christian in conference tourney
February 26, 2007
By Garrett E. Wishall

Using team defense and hot, timely shooting the Boyce Bulldogs came back from a 20-point second half deficit to shock No. 4 Cincinnati Christian University, 71-67, in the first round of the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Mid-East Region conference tournament.

Boyce head coach Casey Smallwood said defense keyed his team's near-miraculous comeback.

"We played good team defense, coming up with steals and blocking shots and Cincinnati Christian had a tough time finding their shot," he said.

"On the offensive end, we moved the ball well, got open shots and we were able to hit our shots. We didn't do anything special, the guys just put into play everything we practiced all year."

Cincinnati Christian (22-11) led 42-30 at halftime and quickly extended their lead to 20 early in the second half. However, the Bulldogs (3-24) turned up their defensive pressure, started stringing together baskets and moved in front with 10 minutes to play. They never trailed again.

"Cincinnati Christian tried to make runs, but the man defense we were playing allowed us to cover their shooters and we froze them. They couldn't do anything," Smallwood said.

"It is our first conference win, first conference tournament win and first win over a top-five team in the nation. It was a great boost for us and it was exactly what our guys needed."

Greg Gibson scored 27 points for the Bulldogs, leading all scorers in the game. John Cabal added 14 and Jeff Pearson scored 10.

Joe Mendenhall scored 20 for Cincinnati Christian in the loss and Justin Bilyeu added 14.

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