COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Columbus State men's basketball team came up with its first big win of the season, beating No. 19 Sinclair Community College 101-99 at the Delaware Hall Athletic Center on Wednesday night.
The Cougars jumped on Sinclair early, leading by as many as 24 points in the first half. The Tartan Pride fought to narrow the deficit in the last three minutes of the first with a halftime score just ten points behind Columbus State (55-45).
It was a battle from the second half to the last second of the game, although Columbus State never relinquished the lead.
Rodney Willis led the Cougars with 25 points, including five three-pointers all in the first half. Willis also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Matthew Gierhart scored 19 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the field. Mario Young added 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field, grabbed six rebounds and put up a career-high four blocks. Dylan Geig sunk in 16 points and grabbed a half dozen boards.
Willis, Young, and Robinson all tied for a team-high five assists while Prater and Young tied for two steals apiece.
The last minute of the game was the most intense with the Cougars up 100-94. Two timeouts later, Sinclair stole the ball, made a 3-point jumper, stole the ball again, and made a layup, bringing the score to 100-99. After two more timeouts, Rodney Willis is fouled, goes 1-2 at the line, then another timeout is called. Sinclair has possession and attempts a 3-point shot to win to no avail.
Columbus State improved to 6-11 overall and 4-5 in the OCCAC. All six wins have been at home.
The Cougars return to action on Saturday, when they host No. 20 DII Cincinnati State at 3:00 p.m.