The Mount Vernon Nazarene College men's basketball team is busy preparing for the 1999
Cougar Homecoming Classic Tournament that will tip-off with two games on Friday evening.
MVNC (1-0), ranked #19 in the NAIA Division II preseason poll, is coming off a season-opening 87-79 victory at Kentucky Christian College on Tuesday night. The Cougars were led by Kenny Chaffin with a career-high 17 points and nine rebounds and Adam Stevens with 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Phil Argento (13 points), Kyle Gerhart (12 points), and Andy Gast (10 points) also reached double figures.
MVNC's first round opponent on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. will be Houghton (NY) College. The Highlanders will be playing their first game of the 1999-2000 season. Houghton, who lost their top three scorers from last year to graduation much like the Cougars did, will be led by 6-foot-5 junior forward Jeremy Martin (8.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last year) and 6-foot-6 senior center Ruben Jurik (4.4 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game).
The other first round game will feature Trinity Christian (IL) College versus Grace (IN) College at 6:00 p.m. Trinity Christian is currently 1-1 with the Trolls' loss coming to defending NAIA Division II national champion Cornerstone (MI) University 82-70. Sophomore 6-foot-4 forward Kevin Koeman, sophomore 6-foot-1 guard John Johnson, and senior 6-foot-2 guard Aaron Lunt all average in double figures, while freshman 6-foot-8 center Vern Henry is the team's leading rebounder.
Grace is off to a 2-1 start with the Lancers' lone loss coming at Saint Xavier (IL) University, the #24-ranked team in the NAIA Division I preseason poll. Grace has four players averaging in double figures: junior 6-foot-3 guard Ben Tonagel, sophomore 6-foot-2 forward Lawrence Burnett, junior 6-foot-5 forward Dan Scharlach, and sophomore 6-foot-3 guard Ryan Bricker. Junior 6-foot-4 forward Teryck Taylor is also the team's leading rebounder.
The consolation game of the tournament will be played at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday followed by the championship game at 3:00 p.m.