Dayton, Tenn. – Hiwassee College (Tenn.) traveled to Dayton, Tenn. yesterday evening for Bryan's last game of the year, before returning to action in 2016 on Jan. 2nd against fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference opponent St. Andrews University (N.C.). The Lions got off to a slow start but managed to carry a 40-33 lead into halftime after struggling from shooting 40.6 percent to the Tiger's 46.9 percent in the first half.
The Lions dealt their damage in the second half, coming to life with an unbelievable shooting performance, finishing 20-for-29 from the floor and 7-for-13 behind the arc. Midway through the second half, the Lions continuously built onto their lead, turning their advantage into double-digits. Hiwassee stood no chance of a late comeback after huge plays from Terrance Scales (SO/Cedar Bluff, Ala.) and Robert Troino (SR/Crossville, Tenn.), both taking turns showing off their verticals and ending in throw-downs, sealing the 97-81 victory.
Four Lions finished the contest in double-digit scoring and were led by Brandon "Bubby" Cole with 29 points (9-for-14) and a team-high seven rebounds. Cole is No. 1 in the conference and in the nation in total scoring (385) and points per game (29.6). He is also ranked 2nd in the AAC in total rebounds, trailing the top position by only 10 boards. Oteriah Lee (SO/Knoxville, Tenn.) posted a career-high 17 points (7-for-8) and dished out eight assists, keeping him the AAC leader in total assists (78) and assists per game (6).
Troino registered 13 points (4-for-10, 2-for-7 from the three), five rebounds, and two assists. Jeff Long (SR/Hendersonville, Tenn.) followed with 11 points (4-for-7, 3-for-6 from the three), tallied two assists, and grabbed one rebound. Reagan Johnson (SO/Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) went 3-for-4 from downtown to give him nine points, and Scales ended the game 3-for-5 with eight points.
Just under ten minutes to play in the first half, the Lions created a 9-0 run to give Bryan their first double-digit lead of the game, 29-15. The Tigers countered with a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to four, bringing the score to 29-25. Both teams kept their offenses rolling, taking turns knocking down shots, but the Lions kept a 40-33 lead going into the break.
Four minutes into action at the beginning of the second half, Hiwassee nailed a three-pointer to bring them within three points of Bryan. The Lions responded next possession with Cole's lone three-pointer for the game. The Tigers traveled back down the court but missed the shot, grabbed the rebound, and kicked it out for another three-pointer. Lee bumped the Lions lead back up to six with his only three for the game.
Long hit the open three-pointer to give the Lions a double-digit lead that they would carry for the rest of the game. Bryan would only grow their lead, especially after a stretch of plays from Scales and Troino to finish out the final minutes of play. Bryan leading 89-75, Scales stripped the ball from a Tigers player and found Lee. Lee capitalized on the give-and-go play, connecting with a high-flying Scales for the alley-oop. The very next possession looked like a replay, but this time after Scales stole the ball, there were no Hiwassee defenders as he finished the fast-break with the slam, making it 93-75. Troino got his turn soon after, scoring the final points for Bryan, when he scooped-up a long rebound. The 5-11 guard skied high for the dunk, making Summers Gymnasium burst into madness. After a few points from Hiwassee to make it 97-81, Scales took the last possession and dribbled as time expired, giving Bryan the 97-81 win.
Bryan and St. Andrews tipoff at 2pm on Jan. 2nd in a conference showdown.
For the full Bryan College Men's Basketball schedule, click here.