MARION, Ind. – Joel Okafor had quite a performance on Tuesday night in leading No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan University men’s basketball to a 102-82 win over Grace Christian (Mich.). Okafor tied a 32-year old program record with 16 assists while showcasing his trademark defense on the other end.
OKAFOR TIES OLD RECORD
Joel Okafor had a career-night with 16 assists. That mark ties a 32-year old program record set by Nikki Mallory vs. Cornerstone (Mich.) in 1986. Okafor had six assists in the opening half but finished with 10 in the final 20 minutes. He added 7 points and 7 rebounds while holding the Tigers’ leading scorer to a mere 6 points.
Indiana Wesleyan raced out to a 23-5 lead to start the game and led by that same 18 point margin at halftime, 49-31. The lead swelled to 20 points on a Kyle Mangas 3-pointer early in the second half, but Grace Christian followed with a 21-3 run to close to within two at 60-58. IWU answered with an 11-3 run to lead 71-61 and were not threatened again.”
The two teams combined to go 28-of-61 from 3-point range for a 45.9-percent clip. IWU was 15-of-32 (46.9-percent) while Grace Christian nearly matched that at 13-of-29 (44.8-percent). Kyle Mangas led all player with a 6-for-10 performance on his way to a game-high 28 points.
“Joel impresses me so much. Every night he draws the number one assignment on the perimeter. Then to go have an offensive output like he did tonight while shutting down their guard, that is an elite guard who is their leading scorer, and hold him to six points, while having 16 assists. There are very few two-way players in the game today and Joel is one of them. He has matured into an elite point guard. His 16 assists tonight validates that.”
“We played in spurts tonight. We had lapses defensively and that is when they went on runs. This team can put up points as they put up about 100 per game. When we let up they made us pay.”
NEXT FOR THE WILDCATS
The Wildcats take more than a week off before their next game on Wednesday, November 14. IWU hosts Cincinnati Christian (Ohio) at 7 p.m. in Luckey Arena.