California Baptist Earns Their First WAC Road Win in Division 1 by Beating Chicago State in the Windy City
By: Ethan Hennessy
The California Baptist Lancers defeated the Chicago State Cougars by a score of 77-75 Saturday afternoon at the Jones Convocation Center in Chicago in a Western Athletic Conference matchup. It was an emotional game at Chicago State today as the cougars took the floor for the first time since the passing of their statistics and information director Corey Miggins. I unfortunately did not get the opportunity to know Corey personally, but many people from all around the WAC, Chicago, and the college basketball world have spoken about his tireless work ethic, and truly kind spirit. Coach Irving said after the game “Its tough when you lose someone in your family, but you still have to go out there and preform… I wish we could have got a win for him, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
The game was a back and forth affair with 18 lead changes. Nobody could ever gain an advantage to pull away by more then a few points. Heading into halftime Chicago State hit a half court shot to tie the game up at 29. Chicago State outrebounded division one’s newest member 26-20 despite the lancers having a clear size advantage in the front court. It is clear Chicago State has the energy to compete in the WAC, and is vastly improved from previous years. They should win a handful of games in the tough Western Athletic Conference. Each team had three main scorers for the game. For Cal Baptist Jordan Heading had 26, Ty Rowell and Milian Acquaah each droped 16. Meanwhile for the cougars they were led by Anthony Harris (26 points), Christian Jacob (18), and Rob Shaw (14).
In the second half whenever one team hit a tough contested layup or a three pointer it felt like the other team came right down the court, and hit a shot to counter. With 11 seconds left Ty Rowell hit a corner three point shot to give the lancers the lead for good.
Chicago State had a look at the end to win the game on a contested three with some contact. I asked coach Irving for CSU after the game if that was the type of play they wanted to run. He said “Yeah that’s the type of play we work on in practice. I have confidence in Tra to hit that shot. At the end I said let’s go home and win it.”
When I asked Rick Croy CBU’s head coach after the game if there have been anything that has surprised him in his first half season in division one, and he responded: “It is as expected. The competition is tough as can be. Outstanding coaching. As expected.”