COLUMBIA — Columbia College men's basketball was coming off a loss to Freed-Hardeman, the No. 1 team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and it didn't want to continue that trend.
The last time Bob Burchard's squad lost two games in a row was Dec. 2, 2011.
So the Cougars, who have lost just six games since they last lost two in a row, went out Thursday and beat Benedictine-Springfield 78-57.
Jeremy Nolen, who led Columbia College with 18 points and eight rebounds, had a no-nonsense look on his face as his team came off its second loss of the season. His focus bore fruit for the Cougars (17-2, 8-1 American Midwest Conference).
Burchard set up a final play before halftime off an inbounds pass, and Nolen hit a long 3-pointer to send Columbia College into the break up 42-25.
The big lead wasn't safe, though. Burchard said Benedictine-Springfield typically has strong second halves.
However, junior Tanner Sutton was confident his team would keep the lead after a tough loss Saturday.
"We didn't say it," Sutton said afterward. "But we knew this would be an easier game."
Then, he caught himself. That's the kind of mindset that could get the Cougars in trouble.
But he played well enough to prove it, scoring 16 points and dishing out four assists. He also led the team in scoring with 17 points in their loss last Saturday to Freed-Hardeman.
The Cougars have tallied 73 wins since their last two-loss stretch.
Next up for Columbia College is Missouri Baptist University at 8:30 p.m. in St. Louis on Saturday.