(Ann Arbor, MI) – Concordia men's basketball held their season opener on Tuesday evening when they hosted Great Lakes Christian College. The Cardinals looked to get the new year off to a good start with a win in front of their home fans. Most of the game was tightly contested with a 40-40 tie at halftime, but CUAA pulled away later in the second half for a 92-82 win.
Thomas Hronis led the Cardinals with 29 points on a career high 11 field goals made. Zackary Johnson finished second with 21 points on a career best 8 field goals and 4 assists. Bernard Kasanda and Colton Ritsema were also in double figures with 13 and 12 points respectively. Devyn Jones had a team-high 7 rebounds while adding 9 points.
Devyn Jones made a layup for Concordia's first points of the game, ending a 5-0 Crusaders run. Zackary Johnson knocked down a triple to tie the game and Bernard Kasanda added a floater as the teams traded baskets early. Johnson added another pair of 3-pointers for a 13-10 CUAA lead.
Thomas Hronis and Zackary Johnson drained shots from behind the arc to give the Cardinals a tight 19-17 lead. Bernard Kasanda drained two free throws and made two driving layups, but the Crusaders continued to battle tying the game 27-27 at the 4:20 mark.
Matt Lockhart made an offensive rebound and a putback to give Concordia the lead. Colton Ritsema added two free throws and Thomas Hronis hit a late 3-pointer. However, the Crusaders were able to continue matching the Cardinal baskets and the score was tied 40-40 at halftime.
Thomas Hronis made a layup to open scoring in the second half. Colton Ritsema made a layup off the high glass and Hronis added a mid-range jumper. The lead continued to swing back and forth with Bernard Kasanda scoring on a quick drive and Thomas Hronis knocking down a triple.
Colton Ritsema threw down a powerful dunk for a 57-51 CUAA lead. Matt Lockhart later made a block on the defensive end and converted a reverse layup on the other side of the court. A pair of free throws from Zac Clark gave the Cardinals a 63-58 advantage at the 11:17 mark.
Concordia began to pull away later in the half as Devyn Jones threw down a dunk. A layup from Zackary Johnson gave the Cardinals their first double-digit lead with a 79-68 score at the 5:22 mark. Thomas Hronis hit a wide-open 3-pointer and Bernard Kasanda also drained a shot from behind the arc down the stretch. CUAA secured the 92-82 win as time expired.
Concordia will now head on the road for the Grace Tip-Off Classic beginning Friday, October 29. The Cardinals face the host school Grace on Friday at 7:00pm.