Charlotte, NC - Second seed Apprentice held off third seeded Mid-Atlantic Christian 89-77 to reach the EMAC Tournament Championship game for the first time.
The Mustangs controlled the early going, jumping out to an 8-3 advantage in the game's first four minutes. The Builders countered with a 14-2 spurt to build their largest lead of the half with 12 minutes to play. MACU quickly rallied to tie the score and the two teams stayed in lockstep for the rest of the period, with Apprentice managing just a three point halftime advantage.
Foul trouble started to mount for MACU in the second half, as key players were forced to the bench for periods of time. Apprentice took advantage of the short-handed Mustangs, and built as large as a twenty point lead twelve minutes into the period. To their credit, MACU kept playing hard, and actually trimmed the lead to nine with three and a half to play, but could get no closer. Apprentice knocked down 26 of 34 second half free throw attempts to keep the Mustangs at bay.
Corey Joyner led the Builder attack with 21 points, while Marion Moore added 20 off the bench. Drew Walton had a double-double for Apprentice with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Jabari Richardson claimed game high scorer honors with 29 points for MACU.
Apprentice advances to take on #4 seed Clinton in Saturday's title game.